Weeds are usually highly adapted to their environment and typically have the benefit of well-established root systems. Moreover, weeds compete and steal vital nutrients that other flowers and plants need to grow at their best.
So how fast do weeds grow? The straight answer is very fast – but more specifically, a whopping one to three inches per day is an average growth rate, given the right circumstances. It’s easy to see how this is true if you see weeds growing on a lawn, as they can tower over grass shoots.
Can Weeds Grow Overnight?
The bad news is, yes, weeds can grow overnight at an astonishing rate – especially if there’s been a lot of rainfall and warm weather. We’re talking inches of weed growth in just one night!
You could carry out a good few hours of weeding one day and then the following day wake up to a lawn full of weeds again.
However, on the flip side, warm weather and rainfall also promote grass and other plant growth, making your garden healthy and lush with fragrance and color. It’s just a matter of battling the weeds correctly so that all your desirable plants can thrive.
Do Weeds Grow Faster than Grass?
Weeds do grow much faster because they sprout earlier than grass and many other plants. In fact, grass tends to only grow at a rate of around two to six inches per month. So when you compare the one to three inches that weeds can grow on a day – weeds are clearly in a league of their own.
One advantage of their faster growth is that you’ll easily be able to spot them on your lawn. Then it’s just a case of you putting in the hard graft of pulling them out one by one.
Why Weeds Grow So Easily
Their well-established root systems make it easy to quickly gather nutrients in the soil to promote the rapid growth rates they are known for. Weeds are also highly adapted to their local climate and environment but can be stubbornly resilient to changes too!
Weeds can cope with harsh climates because many species have their roots networked deep in the soil – unexposed to above-ground environmental pressures. These deep root systems also mean that they have a strong advantage over their shallow-rooted neighbors come springtime.
How Can I Make My Weeds Grow Faster?
If you genuinely intend to make your weeds grow faster, it isn’t going to be difficult.
An obvious solution to enhanced weed growth is to use fertilizer on them. Fertilizer makes everything grow in your garden, including the weeds. In addition, putting your weeds in a warm and rainy environment with plenty of sunlight is going to accelerate their growth massively.
But one key factor that can determine faster growth rates is how much space the weeds have. Plants are always in competition for water and nutrients. If your weeds are packed tightly in with other plants, they won’t be able to grab all the good stuff that they need – as it will be shared out between other plants. So give your weeds plenty of space to promote their growth.
Of course, if you don’t want your weeds to take over, you now know what you need to deprive them of.
The Fastest Growing Weeds on the Planet!
We did say one to three inches as a general growth rate for weeds, but some species hugely outperform these numbers.
It is thought that Kudzu, a weed imported from Japan in 1876, is the fastest-growing weed on the planet – although it’s considered more like a vine. It can grow an unbelievable one foot per night – hence why it can be referred to as the “foot-a-night vine.”
Since Kudzu was introduced to America, it has infested vast areas in the Southeast, and it’s hostile. The vine-like weed is so aggressive in its growth and nutrient-sucking power that it can destroy entire forests and wreck human-made installations like power lines.
Introduced from Europe in the 1800s, purple loosestrife is prolific in its capabilities of producing two to three million seeds per year. It is a weed that’s considered attractive and has medicinal properties, but it causes havoc across the countryside if left untamed.
Now it’s not uncommon to encounter purple loosestrife within every mainland state in the USA.
How To Rid Your Lawn of Weeds Easily
We’ll finish up by giving you a quick little guide on how to keep your lawn weed-free throughout the year with some useful lawn care tips.
The first step is a preventative measure. The idea is that you can prevent weeds from growing by mowing your lawn one-third above its ideal mowing height. Each grass species will have different ideal mowing heights, so make sure to research this or ask an expert.
Secondly, identify the types of weeds in your garden. The three main types of weeds you’ll likely encounter are:
- Broadleaf weeds
- Perennial grassy weeds
- Annual grassy weeds
It’s essential to identify the different types as they appear at different times and have various growth patterns.
With broadleaf weeds, you can use a spot-killing broadleaf herbicide in a standard spray bottle. Just find the weeds on your lawn and spray them. However, if there are large clumps of broadleaf weeds, you might want to think about using a tank sprayer.
With perennial and annual grassy weeds, a general plant killer can be used. You’ll want some rubber gloves on and then one-by-one cover the weeds with the solution.
The Bottom Line
Weeds grow at a staggering rate compared to other plants. They lay extensive root networks that spread out and run deep into the soil. If left untamed, they take over environments that they are adapted to but also can continue to grow in harsher regions stubbornly.
If you want to make weeds grow faster, you won’t have your work cut out – they do all the work for you. Ridding yourself of weeds can be a laborious process, and there are various lawn care routines and techniques you need to employ.