Speedwell (Veronica spp.) is a common weed that infests lawns and gardens throughout the U.S. The many different species vary in appearance. Two characteristics that most have in common are four-petaled blue or white flowers and heart-shaped seed pods. Control speedwell by using good cultural practices, removing the flowerheads before the flowers bloom and, in the most difficult cases, using herbicides.
How to Get Rid of Speedwell
Let’s take a look at how to get rid of speedwell in both the garden and lawn.
Speedwell Control in Gardens
To achieve annual speedwell control in the vegetable garden, till the garden to a depth of at least 6 inches in fall and late winter when several species of speedwell are most likely to germinate. Studies have shown that tilling after dark is most effective.
For serious infestations, controlling weed speedwell calls for a combination of good cultural practices and the use of herbicides. Pre-emergence products should be applied around the time you expect speedwell seeds to germinate. Use post-emergent herbicides in spring and fall when the plants are actively growing.
Speedwell Lawn Weeds
Proper lawn maintenance is the best course of action against speedwell weeds in lawns. Develop a regular schedule of watering, fertilizing with high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer and mowing. Dense, healthy lawns choke out speedwell as well as many other lawn weeds.
Water the lawn weekly during the driest part of summer, leaving the sprinkler running for an hour or two in each spot. That should be enough water to penetrate the soil to a depth of 8 inches.
The best time to fertilize a lawn in most parts of the country is early fall (August or September) and late fall (November or December). Follow the product label instructions on how much to use. Too much causes more problems than it solves.
Maintain lawns at the proper height for the species. Most species are healthiest and look their best at a height of 1 ½ to 2 inches. Mowing as soon as the flowerheads appear will prevent them from going to seed. Don’t mow the lawn for three or four days before and after applying post-emergents for speedwell lawn weeds, and apply the product when you don’t expect rain for at least 24 hours.
Be cautious when applying herbicides. Choose a product labeled to control speedwell. Read the label and carefully follow the instructions. The label will state what type of lawn and what garden plants can be sprayed without damage. Wear protective clothing and shower immediately after applying herbicides.