Yarrow, cat’s weed, ripples, meadow yarrow or in the botanical jargon Achillea – as the plant is also called – has advantages and disadvantages. For example, the plant is edible for humans and animals, can be used as a medicinal herb and spreads comparatively slowly. In the lawn, however, it can still cause damage and crowd out the grass plants. However, yarrow is easy to combat and remove.
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Mowing the lawn weekly and keeping it short during the growing season will encourage the grass plants to grow densely. The denser the lawn is kept, the lower the susceptibility to weeds in the meadow. Therefore, mowing not only fulfills visual requirements, but is also important for keeping the plants healthy. Another advantage is that the yarrow is also kept short, which means that propagation via seeds can be prevented.
Adequate nutrient supply keeps the grass plants healthy and strong, so that weeds, but also the yarrow, have less of a chance to spread. Lawn fertilizer should be applied every eight to twelve weeks between March and October. For a distribution that is as even as possible, experience has shown that a spreader is a good choice and a practical relief.
Moss and other plants not only spread across the meadow, they can actually crowd out the grass. The risk of this is mainly increased by the fact that the lawn is not sufficiently aerated and the turf is too dense. Regular scarifying loosens the lawn and the soil, ensures a better supply of oxygen and facilitates the absorption of both water and nutrients. This in turn ensures strong growth and thus a lower risk of spreading weeds.
Avoid bald spots
The Achillea can spread better if there are already gaps in the meadow. So by avoiding bare patches and sowing grass seed when needed, you can prevent overgrowth.
If there are only a few yarrows in the meadow, manual removal is an option and is the most gentle, as well as the quickest and easiest option. However, it must be noted that the roots must also be removed. Because the plants can spread not only via seeds, but also via root suckers. It is therefore important to dig up the entire plant and remove root debris.
Simply pulling it out is therefore not enough. It is better to follow the following steps:
- Moisten the soil and loosen it slightly with a garden claw, for example.
- Pull the plant out slightly to the side. You should proceed slowly so as not to tear off roots, but to remove as much root material as possible.
- The root remains should be dug up to prevent further spread. The more thorough this is done, the lower the effort will be in the medium and long term.
Chemical control of Achillea is possible through the use of lawn fertilizer and weed killer. It is important to use special weed killers for the meadow. Because these products only fight weeds and not the grass plants themselves. At the same time, the grass plants are supplied with nutrients, strengthened and weeds are prevented from spreading again.
The use of the combined funds is therefore useful in two ways and also only involves little effort. An application every two to three months is sufficient during the growth phase. In the case of a heavy weed infestation, it can be applied in March, May, July and October. During the winter, on the other hand, you have to pause because the grass plants cannot absorb any nutrients during this time. This could lead to so-called chemical burns on the roots of the grass plants, which in turn promotes the emergence of weeds.
Although yarrow can pose a hazard to lawns, the plant is medicinal and edible. Achillea can be prepared fresh or dried as a tea and as such is said to be able to inhibit inflammation, cramps and pain. In addition, the plant has other uses in herbal medicine, such as:
- pad on wounds
- stopping bleeding
- Relief of the airways in colds
- Lowering fever
- regulation of hypertension
- promoting digestion
- stimulating blood circulation
- reducing acne
- Reduction of pregnancy symptoms
Components of the plant can be used as a tea, compress and essential oil. Yarrow is also a wonderful addition to the menu of rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and birds. You can also use the medicinal herb in your own kitchen, for example as an addition to salads and soups. The aroma of the spicy, subtly bitter plant is reminiscent of chamomile and is therefore ideal for tea mixtures and as an edible decoration on the plate. After removing the yarrow from the lawn, there is no need to destroy or dispose of the herb. Instead, targeted use is recommended.
There are different varieties of yarrow, which differ mainly in their growth height. All are edible as long as they are untreated. For targeted planting, however, a suitable selection should be made.