Select A Proper Herbicide
Next, its time to select the proper weed treatment based on both weed classification and the stage in their life cycle. Pre-emergent herbicides tackle weed issues before they spring up. Post-emergent herbicides target established weeds.
Keep in mind that herbicides can kill whatever plant life they come into contact witheven if the label says otherwiseso handle with care. If your aim is to re-establish your lawn, as we recommend, killing your existing, thinning grass isnt a big deal, since you will need to start fresh anyway.
How To Get Rid Of Weeds In Your Lawn
Many people dream of a lush and green lawn to enjoy all summer long. But often this dream is dashed by weeds popping up between the blades of grass. Occasionally, the weeds can get out of control and overtake a yard. Some people worry about treating a weed crisis because they worry they may accidentally ruin their lawns. While a large number of weeds can be discouraging, there are solutions to kill weeds, not grass. Read on to learn how to kill weeds in your lawn without harming your grass.
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- Mow your grass when it needs it one-third above the ideal cutting height.
- Pro Tip: If you dont know your grass type, take a plug of turf to a garden center and ask the staff to help with the identification.
Cool Climate Grasses
- Bent grass: 1/4- to 3/4-in.
- Chewing hard or red fescue: 1-1/2 to 2-1/2-in.
- Tall fescue: 1-1/2 to 3-in.
- Kentucky bluegrass: 1-1/2 to 3-in.
- Perennial ryegrass: 1-1/2 to 3-in.
Warm Climate Grasses
- Bahia grass: 2- to 3-in.
- Bermuda grass: 1/2- to 1-in.
- Blue grama grass: 2- to 3-in.
- Buffalo grass: 2- to 3-in.
- Carpetgrass: 1- to 2-in.
- St. Augustinegrass: 1- to 3-in.
- Zoysia grass: 1/2- to 1-in.
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Weed Control In Lawns
Weeds are plants that are growing where theyre not wanted. Weeds can take any form and can vary depending on where they grow. Weeds typically produce large numbers of seeds, assisting their spread. They are often excellent at surviving and reproducing in disturbed environments and are commonly the first species to colonise and dominate in these conditions.
What is a weed?
Weeds are plants that are growing where theyre not wanted. Weeds can take many forms and can vary depending on where they grow. By this definition something we see as a weed may be perfectly fine for others.
For some lawn owners as long as its green its fine is a common statement. But consider this for a moment, most broadleaf weeds are annuals which only grow for part of the year and then set seed. Whilst in small numbers the lawn will cover over these small spots as they die out but as they grow in numbers through seeding the lawn cant fill in these spots and suddenly your lawn is bare, when it isnt covered in weeds.
Weeds are very easily dispersed, so are difficult to eradicate completely. A longer lawn, with a dense growth habit helps in outperforming weeds, while an aerated soil is a much better option than a compacted soil.
Why you need to draw your line early?
In Australia our most common weeds like Bindii and dandelion are Winter annuals, this means they germinate in the soil from around April-June and start setting seeds in mid-Spring.
Heres How To Use Weed Killer Correctly And Get The Best Possible Results:
- The timing
Weedkillers should ideally be used on a warm afternoon. There should be no night frost and or rain. The lawn should be dry when using the weed killer, but the soil should not be parched. It is advisable to water the lawn the day before.
- The preparation
The lawn should not be mowed too short, because the plant hormones are absorbed mainly through the leaves. If the soil is low in nutrients, fertilize the lawn about two weeks before applying the herbicide.
- The application
The best way to apply the weed killer is with a watering can. Pay close attention to the directions for use of your product. As a rule, only the heavily infested areas should be treated to use as little herbicide as possible.
Weed killers usually do not harm the lawn grass, but you should make sure that you rinse the watering can well after application before using it for normal watering.
You should also avoid getting drops or spray of the herbicide on other plants, such as garden flowers because they can be harmed by the product. The weeds should be killed after four to six weeks. You can reseed the resulting voids with fresh seed before weeds reestablish themselves.
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Overseed Every Spring & Fall
Your lawn is an organic entity which means it grows and it eventually dies. Overseeding your lawn is the process of spreading grass seed across your property to ensure new life is constantly being replenished within the soil. For best results, seed right after you aerate your lawn and use the same type of grass seed that your lawn currently is. Water generously as your lawn will thank you!
Fertilizer With Weed Remover
Another option for chemical weed control is a combination product of lawn fertilizer and weed remover. This fertilizer is spread on the lawn and is said to be beneficial to the grass while killing the weeds. Such fertilizers often do not deliver what they promise. The concentration and application method is often insufficient to effectively kill the weeds, but they can be contained. This granular fertilizer with weed eliminator should be applied when the lawn is moist. This allows the chemicals to stick to the leaves and work better.
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How Weeds In Lawns Work
To understand how to treat a lawn, its important to understand the weeds themselves. Weeds are plants, just like the grass in your lawn. Because they are plants, weeds flourish in the same conditions that a lush, green lawn would. Weeds also grow when the grass is cut low and the soil is compacted. These ideal conditions can lead to a lawn full of weeds, but there are a few different types of weeds to be aware of:
- Broadleaf weed. These weeds include dandelions, clover, ground ivy, oxalis, chickweed, thistle, dollarweed, and plantain. The leaves on these weeds are broad and flat.
- Grassy weed. These weeds include crabgrass, foxtail, annual bluegrass, and quackgrass. These weeds grow in blades and look like grass.
- Grass-like weed. These weeds include nut sedge, wild onion, and wild garlic. These weeds may look somewhat like grass, but they grow in a more tubular and hollow shape.
Its important to identify which type of weeds are growing in your yard before choosing a treatment. Some products are specifically designed for certain types of weeds and can only be used for that kind.
Reduce Open Garden Space
If your soil is rich and drains well, plant your plants closer together. This will cut down weed growth. Start your warm weather plants as soon as you can to keep the soil from being bare for too long. At the end of the season, plant cover crops such as rye grass, winter wheat, or oats to prevent weeds from finding a home in your garden.
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Incorrect Watering And Drought
Most lawn grasses are susceptible to drought, so a lawn needs to be watered regularly. Especially in the summer, when the grass is exposed to strong sun and high temperatures, it should be given enough water.
Weeds, on the other hand, are quite a bit more resistant to heat and drought and will take advantage of the opportunity to spread and crowd out the grass. Weeds also recover more quickly when the lawn is parched and re-watered.
Perennial Broadleaf Lawn Weeds
These perennial varieties need to be controlled aggressively, or they can take over your lawn, as they come back year after year.
A short stalk with broad leaves and five veins at the base makes it easy to identify Broadleaf Plantain in your lawn.
The flower shoots erectly and appears almost prickly but the flowers are soft.
Broadleaf Plantain looks almost like a badly unfolded cabbage, with dark leaves that are thick and leathery, and a tower head.
Low fertilizer application and compacted soils will foster a great environment for plantain weeds, so fertilizing your lawn and aerating your turf are effective at discouraging its growth in your yard.
Control Methods Manual removal of Broadleaf Plantain is more difficult than annual broadleaf weeds. The root goes deeper, and the leaves grow near to the ground which makes it more challenging to pull the root.
You can use tools like the Fiskars Stand Up Weeder to uproot these weeds they work well if you only have a few instances of weeds in your lawn and dont mind keeping on top of them manually once a week.
Chemically, you can use herbicides such as Roundup, Hi-Yield Ferti-Lome, Broadleaf Weed Killer, 2,4-D, MCPP, and others.
I generally encourage homeowners to take a manual approach for low instances of weeds, and use herbicides to spot treat large weed infestations.
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Using A Lawn Weed Killer
If you have a lot of weeds to get rid of, then using the best weed killer for lawns is the most effective method of control.
Lawn herbicides are selective. This means they target weeds without killing common types of turfgrass.
Theyre formulated to be effective at killing:
- Broadleaf weeds such as dandelion, clover, and chickweed
- Grassy weeds such as foxtail, quackgrass, and crabgrass
- Grass-like weeds such as nutsedge, wild onion, and wild garlic
But you still have to be careful when using them. Not all products are safe to use on all grass types. So check first to make sure your grass is recommended.
Also, stay away from non-selective weed killers containing ingredients such as glyphosate. These kill all vegetation, including your grass.
Herbicides are easy to use. Just mix the concentrate with water and add it to a good weed killer sprayer. Then make sure you soak the target weeds as you spray your lawn.
The weeds should turn brown and die. But, depending on the herbicide, the time taken can vary.
Systemic weed killers are best for killing the plants to the root and preventing them from growing back. But you have to be patient when using them, as they can take from 2-4 weeks for a complete kill.
After the weeds have died you can use a rake and tilling fork to clear the leftover plant from the soil in preparation for reseeding the area or laying sod if necessary.
How To Get Rid Of Weeds
Learn how to kill weeds in your lawn without killing your grass.
Most lawn weeds are opportunists that take root wherever they can find the space and catch a few rays of sunlight. If you already have a weed problem on your hands but arent sure what types are popping up on your lawn, read about some of the most common types of weeds.
For those of you who are ready to fight the good fight, heres a step-by-step guide that will help you get rid of weeds when they start growing on your lawn.
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Pulling The Weeds By Hand
Either by hand, or with a removal tool, pulling the weed out of the ground by the root and tossing it in your compost bin is an instant remedy. Weeds fight this by purposely breaking at the surface of the ground so that their roots live to grow another day. Using a flathead screwdriver, a ford, or a special tool designed for weed pulling is the best way to remove the entire weed from head to toe. Make sure you wear gloves while doing so as some weeds have prickly surfaces that can really cause a sting. Its important to remember that pulling the weed by the leaves or step will cause it to snap. So long as the roots survive, you can bet that weed will be back in a matter of days. The tools you use must completely remove the weed from the ground so that its gone. For dandelions, do this while the heads are yellow since once they are white, they will spread seeds like crazy upon movement. If your kids are going to blow them into the wind, do it at the local field, not on your lawn!
How Do I Get Weeds Out Of My Lawn
Hello, Persistence. It can be an ongoing situation.
Preventive application can start your growing season.
Heres a link for your consideration, the seasonal weather timing may be important
WeedBGone is another tool for spot application.
Do you wish to establish week control using home remedies or purchased chemical ones?
There are many natural household type of ways to eliminate your weeds, these very helpful links from Hometalk are a great resource.
Best wishes on your war with weeds-Happy gardening!
- William on Jan 04, 2019
I also suffered with a lot of weeds, especially Creeping Charlie! At one point, two thirds of my lawn was taken over. I tried everything under the sun. I finally tried Spectracide Weed and Feed. I mixed a much stronger solution than the instructions said. Used a handheld sprayer and really wet the “lawn” down with no rain scheduled for the next few days. Killed the Charlie/weeds and the lawn came back stronger than ever. I still get some Charlie coming back every so often, so I pull out what I can and spot spray it along with other weeds as general maintenance.
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Getting To Know The Weed Categories
To identify weeds in your lawn, and address the problem so they dont come back, you need to understand what type of weed youre dealing with. To do this, you must first understand that there are 2 main categories that weeds fall into:
- Grass-like weeds, and
- Broadleaf weeds.
And within those two primary types of weeds, there are sub-categories:
- Annual weeds , and
- Perennial weeds .
In this article Ill profile the most common lawn weeds within all four groups .
At the end of the article you should be equipped to identify the weeds in your lawn .
When To Apply Lawn Weed Killer
You will only kill weeds when they are actively growing. This means commencing sometime in May and finishing sometime in late September or early October.
I would not rush to apply lawn weed killer to the whole lawn in the early spring as there will be a lot of weeds that wont surface until later on. In early spring just spot or hand weed. For a good weed kill over a broad range of weeds in your lawn try starting in May. If you need to repeat the treatment you still have plenty of time before cold weather makes it impractical. Read the label of your weed killer to make sure repeat treatments are allowed.
A well fertilised lawn will help you get the most from your weed killer. In spring apply fertiliser in April and weed kill end of May or early June. In autumn feed 7-10 days before weed spraying.
One of my favourite times for complete lawn weed control is in late August or September whilst there is still some warmth around. I would recommend this if you just need the one application in the year. The reason for this is:
- Most weed types are still around
- The spring seeds in your lawn will have germinated so you get those as well
- Killing weeds in autumn is easier than killing winter hardened weeds in spring
- Youll have a weed free lawn until the next round of weed seeds germinate the following spring
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Perennial Grassy Lawn Weeds
While annual grassy weeds get most of the attention from homeowners, perennial grass-like weeds can cause big issues over time.
Here is how to identify 3 common perennial grass-like weeds.
Lawn weed identification of Dallisgrass is pretty easy as its growth habit is unique.
Dallisgrass is a perennial grass that grows in clumps which quickly spread across a lawn if untreated.
Leaves are yellowy-green in color and less than half an inch in width. They can grow from 1 inch to 3 inches.
Dallisgrass can easily blend in with real grass if you have a poor quality lawn, but it has a faster growth habit, and will noticeably protrude above your lawn in the days after mowing while the rest of your lawn is still shorter.
Some people confuse Dallisgrass and Crabgrass, but the width of this plant and its growth habit is different .
Control Methods Dallisgrass can adapt to areas with improper drainage systems very well, so youll often find it in wet areas of your lawn. Its tough to pull Dallisgrass by hand to remove it, so this can be a good punishment for kids who have misbehaved .
Most crabgrass preventer pre-emergent treatments are effective against this perennial, but post-emergent herbicides might be necessary if your lawn isnt thick enough to crowd it out.
Pennington UltraGreen Crabgrass Preventer, Pylex Herbicide, Selective Weed Killers, and Treflan will all work well.
How To Control Weeds
When it seems as though you have more weeds than grass in your yard, you can still get the lawn you want by tackling your weed problem head-on. To fertilize your lawn and control existing broadleaf weeds at the same time, use Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action or Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Triple Action . Both formulas save you time and effort by killing stubborn weeds like dandelion and clover while feeding and strengthening your lawn. In addition, Southern Triple Action prevents and kills fire ants for up to 6 months, while Triple Action puts a stop to new weeds like crabgrass. If its not time to fertilize your lawn, you can still control weeds with a straight weed control product like Scotts® Weed Control for Lawns. Be sure to always read the instructions before applying any product.
Of course, if your lawn only has a few weeds here and there, you can try hand-pulling them. Annual weeds, like crabgrass and chickweed, tend to have shallow roots and are usually easily controlled with hand-pulling. On the other hand, perennial weeds, like dandelion and thistle, have deep, extensive roots and are harder to control by hand-pulling because if even a small piece of root is left in the ground, the weed will grow back. Its easiest to hand-pull weeds when they are young and your soil is moist.
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