Why Weeds Are On The Move

How Weed Seeds Spread

A simple definition of a weed is “a plant that is not wanted where it is growing.”  In the South, if we pay attention over time, weeds come, weeds go, and some hang around and even get worse.

We understand that weeds germinate from seeds, but where do these seeds come from?

There are millions and millions of weed seeds in the “seed” banks in the soil. And to think we can get rid of them entirely is simply not going to happen. Also products available to turf professionals and homeowners, such as a pre-emergents, prevent weed germination and are only effective on certain weeds and generally leave behind only a short term residual. (2-6 months depending on choice of pre-emergent).

There are actually many ways weed seeds travel and spread from place to place. Most of which, are out of our control. However, there are some ways where we can drastically reduce this problem by the choices we make.  If you hire a mowing service to mow your lawn, the mowers used are moving from place to place and can transport weed seeds as they will latch on to the equipment only to find their home when they eventually fall off.

But what are other ways that weeds seeds could possibly spread?


To give us an example of how weed seeds can spread by wind, I have something all of us have done to contribute to the spread of this weed. When we were young, we would find a mature fluffy, white dandelion, loaded with tiny seeds might I ad, lift it high in the air, and blow all those white fluffy seeds as far as we possible could. This is one of the many ways that dandelion seeds have been known to travel for miles in the right windy conditions. And they are not alone as many more weed seeds can be moved around by wind fairly easy.


As we stated earlier, many machines, such as mowers, bikes, 4-wheelers, etc., are other great ways to spread weed seeds from one piece of property to another.  The seed fragments cling to the machine only later to fall off at its new home.

People and Animals

Yes, humans, man’s best friend, and other animals are other ways weeds can be spread. Some weeds such and thistles and sandburs can easily attach and spread seed fragments. Thorny type weeds can stick on the bottom of Fido’s paws or our boots or shoes and only to fall out or pulled out to its next destination. Other weed seeds that fall from trees and can hang on to fur of animals or our clothing and can be spread.


Moving water from one area to another is another good candidate to spread weed seeds. Flooding or overflowing allows the seeds to pick up, leave an area, and once the water subsides, the seeds eventually settle in to later germinate.

There are many ways weed seeds can spread. Did you know, that there are laws in some places that prevent you from spreading weeds? Yep, that’s right. You are to keep a watchful eye for the spread of weeds from your property and required to report any hard to control weed sightings so they can be destroyed.

Weeds are here today, and unfortunately, the battle against weeds will never totally be won. Even now we are finding more weeds that are developing resistance to herbicides making it more challenging for manufacturers and industry professionals.

At 4-Evergreen, we use a variety of products that will help in preventing resistance and we are consistently monitoring our results.

If you want or need more information about how weeds spread or what’s best for your lawn, please call us for a free consultation. We would love to help you solve your lawn problems!


Have a great week!

Scott Riley






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