Wherever lawns are planted in compacted, low-nitrogen soil, plantain is not far away. With its strong taproots, the weeds spread vehemently in the lawn and mercilessly suppress the shallow-rooted, less competitive noble grasses.
With the right strategy, there is a good chance of permanently removing plantain. Read how to do it here
Remove plantain manually – plucking out alone is not enough
As the broad plantain profile shows, the plant drives a taproot up to 80 cm (31 inches) long into the ground. In order to permanently remove the weeds, it is not enough to simply pluck out the leaves and flower spikes.
Digging up with a hand shovel or spade leaves unsightly holes in the lawn. It is better to use a weed puller for effective weeding. That is how it goes:
- The best time is immediately after a rain shower when the ground is soft
- Drive the weed puller so deep into the ground that the taproot is completely caught
- By moving the device back and forth, pull the broadleaf plantain out of the ground
Incidentally, the palm-sized leaves are far too good to be disposed of in the compost. Since the foliage of Plantago major is edible, use the tender leaves to make a crunchy salad.
How to remove plantain with mechanical assistance
If the weeds in the lawn have already spread over a large area, the weed puller proves to be ineffective. Instead, an intensive lawn treatment fixes the problem. To do this, mow the grass as short as possible to scarify it lengthwise and crosswise. Subsequent fertilizing with a special lawn fertilizer completes the care program.
If a pH test shows a result below 5.5, that’s good for plantain and bad for your lawn. With the help of lime, you bring the soil acid value back into balance, so that the noble grasses gain the upper hand over the weeds.
Regular lawn mowing has a preventive effect against plantain in the lawn. The weeds are not given the opportunity to spread further by means of seeds. In the course of this, the lawn must not be mowed too short.
With a perfect cutting height of 4 to 5 mm, the weeds lie in the permanent shade of the lawn grass and die due to a lack of light.