“Ask A Master Gardener” helps our readers to solve common problems concerning horticulture, gardening, and pest management through a trained and supervised staff of Extension Master Gardener volunteers. The Extension Master Gardener program is an educational program designed to enhance public education in consumer horticulture.
Submit your questions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, you can call the local Extension Center at 252-641-7815 and tell them you have a question for a master gardener. You ask the questions and a local Master Gardener will return your call with a solution to your problem and share it with our readers.
Answers reflect research collected from land grant universities (NCSU or NCA&T) and through a national extension website, www.extension.org.
Q. Susan S. - (Northwoods Country Road) asks - How do I control common lespedeza (weed) in my centipede?
A. -- Lespedeza is a dark green, wiry summer annual with trifoliate leaves. Several wide-spreading prostrate branches come from the slender taproot. It grows close to the ground and seldom is cut by a mower. It is a very common summer weed, choking out thin turf. Hairs grow downward on the stem. Leaves are composed of three leaflets. Stipules are light to reddish brown. Small single flowers arise from the leaf axils on most of the nodes of the main stems and are pink or purple.
Maintain a dense, actively growing turf through proper mowing, fertilizing, and watering practices. Mow at the proper height for your selected adapted turfgrass. Coring and traffic control reduce compaction and encourage desirable turfgrass competition. It is best to control this summer annual broadleaf weed in late spring or early summer because it is easier to control at this time and the turf will have a greater chance of recovering the areas previously occupied by weeds.