Black Medic [Medicago lupulina]

Black Medic

Black Medic

General Information: Black Medic can be both an annual and perennial weed. It is very similar in appearance to Lesser Trefoil (Yellow Suckling Clover), however Black Medic is less widespread then Lesser Trefoil on fine turf, it is usually confined to neglected lawns. The main difference and the way to distinguish between the two lawn weeds, is that the seed pods turn black at the end of the season on Black Medic (see picture below).

Leaf: Black Medic leaves form as 3 leaflets similar to White Clover and Lesser Trefoil. Sometimes the leaflets of Black medic have a pointed tip, which is not seen on the others.

Flower: The small yellow flowers can be seen between the months of April and October. Again similar to Lesser Trefoil, but when ripe the pods turn black on Black Medic

Preferred Habitat: Black Medic prefers nutrient deficient, dry soils, especially lawns that have been neglected.

Control: As this weed is an annual hand weeding can prove effective, especially if the plants are few in number. Maintain good turf vigour with a balanced feed program, this will encourage a thick coverage of grass to help discourage weeds invading. Regular light scarification or raking prior to mowing will help remove and weaken Black Medic.

If however they have spread into larger patches, chemical control will be necessary using a selective weed killer from the list below. In most cases more than one application will be needed for successful control, as Black medic is a stubborn weed to control with chemicals. Our weed control section has advice and tips on all aspects of weed killer application. Once the weed has been removed or controlled the bare area can be filled with a mixture of suitable soil and grass seed to aid recovery.

Please click to enlarge the Black Medic image

Recommended selective weed killers for amateur gardeners for the control of Black Medic in lawns and turf.

  • Verdone Extra (fluroxypyr, clopyralid & MCPA).
  • Westland lawn weed killer (2,4-D, mecoprop-p & dichlorprop-p).
  • Westland lawn feed, weed & moss killer (2,4-D & mecoprop-p) includes a fertiliser.
  • Westland Resolva lawn weed killer (MCPA, mecoprop-p & dicamba).
  • Vitax lawn clear (fluroxypyr & mecoprop-p)
  • Vitax green up lawn weed & feed + moss killer (2,4-D & mecoprop-p) includes a fertiliser.
  • Doff lawn spot weeder (2,4-D, mecoprop-p& dichlorprop-p).

Recommended selective weed killers for lawn and turf care professionals for the control of Black Medic in lawns and turf.

  • Scotts Praxys (fluroxypyr, clopyralid & florasulam).
  • Scotts Intrepid 2 (dicamba, dichlorprop-p & MCPA).
  • Scotts Re-act (MCPA, mecoprop-p & dicamba).
  • Barclay Holster (fluroxypyr, 2,4-D and dicamba).
  • Mascot Crossbar (fluroxypyr, 2,4-D & dicamba).
  • Mascot Greenor (fluroxypyr, clopyralid & MCPA).
  • Mascot Super Selective (mecoprop-p, MCPA & dicamba).

When using chemicals always follow the manufactures application and health & safety guidelines.

Verdone Extra Lawn Weed Killer

Verdone Extra Lawn Weed Killer

Verdone Extra is the ideal product for the control of common lawn and turf weeds. This lawn weed killer will control broad leaved weeds such as Daisy, Dandelion, White, Clover, Lesser Trefoil, Black Medic, Plantains and many more making it a popular choice amongst gardeners and lawn care enthusiasts.

This broad spectrum weed killer contains 3 ingredients fluroxypyr, clopyralid & MCPA which makes it suitable for a wide range of weeds found in garden lawns throughout the UK.

The chemical is diluted with water and is applied to the lawn with a either a sprayer or watering can. This pack contains 1 litre of Verdone Extra which is enough to treat an area of 667 sq/m or over 700 sq/yds.

For the best results Verdone Extra should be applied when the weeds are actively growing during the spring and summer. Avoid applying weed killers during times of turf stress, such as drought and frost. More Info

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