Question: This wiry little weed has spread all over my yard. It is covered with tiny white flowers. How can I get rid of it? (Note from Neil: I’m getting this question repeatedly right now.)Answer: Several of you have asked about this same weed. It’s called roadside aster, and it was the subject of a recent Garden Tip I posted on my Facebook page. Here is what I wrote:
“The weed is roadside aster. Wiry devil with fine foliage all summer, then these blooms in the fall. How it gets there: seed from weedy lots in the neighborhood; seed from other places in your own yard.
“The cure: take better care of your lawn. This weed will be the first to disappear when you start watering properly (with respect to our water curtailments), feeding regularly, and mowing at the recommended height on a regular basis. You could also apply broadleafed weedkiller (2,4-D) during the summer, before the plants start blooming. As for this year’s crop, hand-pulling is almost impossible. Use a sharp hoe to sever the taproot – much easier and a lot quicker.
“And to those who say, “I actually think it’s kinda pretty,” people who are trying to maintain attractive lawns won’t agree with you at all. To them (us), this weed is a bit like somebody throwing trash all over our yards.”