Three Things You Need To Know About Dock

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Dock, also called curly dock or yellow dock, is a weed that you may find growing on your lawn. Here are three things you need to know about dock.

What does dock look like?

Dock is a perennial herb with an upright, reddish stalk. The plants can become as tall as 120 centimeters (50 inches) and have spirally, long-stalked leaves. These weeds produce small flowers in the months of July and August, which later turn into fruits. These reddish-brown fruits are 2.5 millimeters (0.1 inches) long.

How does dock spread?

This weed is generally spread by water. This is because the weed's fruits can float on water, so after a heavy rainstorm, fruits can be delivered to new areas, like your backyard. Once the fruits reach your yard, their seeds will sprout, and you'll notice large, unwanted dock weeds growing in your lawn. Water — either from rain or from your sprinklers — will then encourage these weeds to spread, allowing your beautiful lawn to become overrun with dock.

The seeds of this weed can survive for an exceptionally long time. The seeds can survive for at least 20 years, though some sources suggest that they can survive longer than 50 years.

How can you control dock?

Dock is a very competitive plant, so it can out-compete desirable vegetation like your grass. It will take the water and nutrients that your grass needs to survive for itself, which allows it to thrive at the expense of your grass.

Getting rid of dock plants can be difficult due to their size. While it's fairly simple to hand-pull smaller weeds, dock has deep roots. When you pull on the weeds, the roots will break, and some of the roots will be left behind in the soil. These left-behind roots within grow into a new dock plant, and you'll be right back where you started. For this reason, trying to hand-pull dock weeds is not a good idea.

A number of herbicides can be used to control dock. Treating your lawn with pre-emergent herbicides — herbicides that act on ungerminated seeds — in the spring and fall can prevent dock seeds from growing. Pre-emergent herbicides don't work once the seeds sprout, so if you already have dock weeds in the yard, you'll need to use post-emergent herbicides. Make sure to choose a product that will not harm your grass; a lawn care specialist can help you identify the right herbicide product for your dock control needs.

If your backyard is being taken over by unwanted dock weeds, control them with herbicides. For more information, contact a home lawn care specialist like one from Hedahl Landscape Deck & Patio.

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3 June 2016

Discussing Landscaping Practices

Hello, my name is Willy Wilson. When I was in college, I rented a small home with my friends and coworkers. The home was in bad shape and needed a lot of help across the entire property. My friends and I decided to build up the home from the inside out with a unique landscaping layout. The landscaping process ignited a passion for creating gardens out of tired, patchy lawn space. I want to use this site to explore all of the different ways you can create a beautiful landscape around your home. Come by anytime to learn about this fascinating subject.