Everyone enjoys having a lush, weed-free lawn. It is pleasant to look at and lovely to play on and gives you a certain pride when someone comments on how well you take care of your lawn. This is why it’s frustrating when your lawn becomes overrun with weeds that seem to multiply by the day.
By examining your lawn, you can identify what type of weeds are present so you can focus on how to get rid of it forever — or at least, a good long while. Common weeds are dandelion, crab grass, clover, and quack grass.
This article will help you get rid of those weeds in your lawn, typically by preventing them from growing in the first place. When your lawn is stressed, it is more susceptible to being overrun by weeds. By developing a healthy lawn, you can win the fight against the weeds.
Weeds can tell us much about the health of our grass and the soil it is growing in. Weeds thrive in compacted, nutrient-deficient, and un-balanced soil. For example, if you have a proliferation of dandelions, your soil may be compacted, the pH too low, and it is lacking in calcium and too high in potassium.
So, with any weed, look at why that weed loves your lawn in the first place. Then correct your soil from there to make it an environment that the weed won’t like to live in any longer. Keep in mind that some weeds can benefit your lawn, providing needed nitrogen or preventing erosion. Pick your battles and you will face less frustration.
This may seem like a terrible option, but it can work with certain weeds. Most annual weeds, such as crabgrass and chickweed, have a shallow root system, making them easier to pull, especially if they are small and the soil is moist.
Perennial weeds are difficult to pull by hand since they have deep extensive roots. The dandelion has a large tap-root that extends deep into the soil, so it is difficult to retrieve the root in one piece. If you leave any portion of the root in the soil, the weed will eventually grow back. There are hand tools that will help you dig out certain roots. Again, digging them when they are smaller and in moist soil will drastically help.
Another option is to cut off the tops of the offending weed; that way, they won’t go to seed and drop millions of babies everywhere that will sprout next spring.
Most of us tend to over-water our yards because we want to keep our grass green and pretty. But it can cause more harm than good. Grass needs approximately one inch of water per week to stay healthy. A good soak of water two to three times per week is adequate to achieve that goal. It is best to water first thing in the morning before it becomes too hot. Watering during the heat of the day is wasteful because much of that water evaporates before getting to the root of the grass.
Watering deeply and less often allows your grass to develop strong, deep roots that are more tolerant in times of drought. The grass becomes thicker and can compete better with weeds, choking them out. Also, knowing how much water your variety of grass requires is good too. Some varieties require less, while others will need more.
See how to make your own vinegar weed killer at home – Here!
There are wrong ways to mow your yard, and most of us are guilty of this too. What happens is that we cut the grass nice and short, thinking that it looks pretty, when in fact, it is allowing more sunlight to nourish weed seeds so they can grow. Here’s a great resource on proper yard mowing.
It is best to remove only 1/3 of the grass blade each time you mow. Remove just enough to keep it healthy but not too much that it will stunt its growth. That also goes with mowing too often, which can leave your lawn susceptible to weed invasions. To emphasize this point, cut long and mow less for a thicker turf in the long run. Also, mulching is a great way to add nitrogen back into the soil for continuous feeding of the grass.
Grass requires nutrients to survive, and over time, it will use up all the nutrients in the soil. You only need to fertilize one to two times per year, and it’s an easy chore. Look for a slow-release fertilizer that is formulated for your specific grass type.
As your lawn stays lush and green, there is little room for weeds to grow. There are even weed and feed options that will fertilize the grass and kill the weeds all in one.
Over-fertilizing will not improve your grass; in fact, it can cause more issues. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer for the best results.
Aerating your lawn allows the grass to get more oxygen, nutrients, and water. If your soil has a great deal of clay or is compacted, you may need to aerate twice per year. As the grass becomes healthier and thicker, the weeds cannot survive.
Any time you hand-pull weeds or cause a bare spot in your yard, it is good practice to reseed it before the weeds decide to make it their home. You can even over-seed in the fall to promote a dense turf that will out-compete the weeds.
Plant grass that is suited for your region, environment, and site. For example, if you have a large amount of shade, make sure you plant a shade variety.
This one is listed last because if you keep your grass healthy using the above tips, you shouldn’t have to resort to using herbicides. If you do, choose an herbicide that is labeled for lawn use and formulated for your specific variety of grass.
Typically, spot treating is adequate if you don’t have many weeds in your yard. But if there are more weeds than grass, you may want to apply the herbicide to the whole area. You can use pre-emergents in the spring to kill weed seeds and a post-emergent later in the season for the established weed.
By eliminating the conditions that promote weeds, you are on your way to having a beautiful, lush yard. Start by identifying what type of weeds you have and what conditions they are thriving in. You have many options, from pulling the weeds to using herbicides. Either way, you will need to implement watering, fertilizing, and mowing strategies to encourage thick, healthy grass that won’t allow weeds to take residence. Given these points, the more grass you have in place, the fewer weeds you will have to fight.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!