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.
Slowing Down Oriental Bittersweet
Another challenging weed is Oriental bittersweet . You can try to eliminate it by putting in a lot of effort to pull and cut it, or you can moderate its growth with another method. To cut off its supply of nutrients and to keep the weed from smothering trees it grows around, simply cut the thickest vines from ground level to your waist. The method won’t kill the bittersweet weed, but it will slow it down enough to save your trees.
Spectracide Weed Grass Killer
WONT KILL GRASS
Fast-acting weed and grass killers are my favorite herbicides. Spectracide scored highly on our rating scale when it got rid of some weeds within 24 hours. It quickly became one of the fastest-acting sprays.
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- Shortest rainproof period of 15 minutes
- Fast-acting formula with results as fast as 3 hours
- Kills shrubs, weeds, and grasses effectively.
- Can be used over a large area
- Can be used to remove old lawn for re-seeding
While it is not an industrial-grade weed killer for lawns, you can use it on your lawn without killing grass. It is pretty effective at getting rid of most broadleaf weeds as well as a decent number of unwanted grass species.
We tested this concentrate on clovers and plantains that were growing along driveways and walkways, and it did a great job in removing the weeds within a period of 24 hours. The results were visible and satisfying.
- First thing, you might want to use your own sprayer. The one it comes with is a little weak, and the nozzles dont spray so well.
- The second downside I noticed with the Spectracide weed killer is that it struggled a bit killing poison ivy even though it killed most other broad-leaf vegetation in the yard.
- The third issue I noticed is that it may damage your flower beds if you apply non-selectively. It can also kill your lawn grass very easily, so use it carefully to spot-treat.
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Prepare The Soil For Grass
Perform a soil test to determine what soil amendments are needed before planting. Fill in any low spots and make sure the yard has a 1 to 2 percent slope away from your house or other buildings, advises the University of Maryland Extension. Remove any rocks, weeds and roots and break up large clumps of soil.
Till the lawn 4 to 6 inches deep with lime and fertilizer. The amounts needed are determined by the results of your soil test. Add 1 to 2 inches of organic material such as compost. This not only adds nutrients to the soil, it also helps to remove compactions so that the soil will drain better, creating a better environment for your grass.
Finally, smooth out the lawn with a rake and use a water roller to firm the soil. This step ensures a level soil bed without compacting the soil.
Water Your Lawn Deeply
One of the biggest mistakes gardeners and homeowners make is how much they water their lawns and flowers beds, and this can have a big effect on your weed situation. Instead of watering lightly and frequently, it’s best to water your grass deeply and not too often. This kind of watering schedule will allow your grass’s roots to take hold, letting them grow strong and healthy. Strong and healthy grass means it can compete better with weeds.
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Apply Winter Weed And Feed To Your Lawn
Not only does weed and feed help to kill weeds on your lawn, but the products also contain fertilizer which helps to enrich the soil, making it suitable for the grass to thrive during spring.
This weed control method is perfect for areas that experience wet and mild winters, especially the Southern States.
The products prefer damp conditions, which help to activate the peanut husk that was soaked in weed killer. As a result, the husk attaches itself to the plant and releases the weed killer agent, killing the weed from the inside.
With the help of moisture, the fertilizer trickles down to the soil and adds nutrients that will come in handy to the grass during spring. Weed and feed products often come equipped with both pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides for optimal weed control.
How To Get Rid Of A Lawn Full Of Weeds Without Killing Grass
Keeping weeds under control is essential if you want that perfect lush, green lawn.
And it really comes down to 2 choices:
Doing it by hand the natural way. Or using weed killer. They both have their pros and cons.
Well take a closer look at these, and Ill show you how to get the job done.
And dont forget that keeping your lawn growing healthy and strong makes it harder for weeds to grow and spread. Well cover the key things to take care of to keep them away.
So lets get started, and take a closer look at how to get rid of a lawn full of weeds.
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Treat And Kill Lawn Weeds In The Fall
One of the best things you can do for your lawn is to treat weeds in the fall. Whether you’re tending warm- or cool-season turf, tackling weeds as autumn’s cooler days arrive can help you create a lush and lovely lawn. Fall treatments knock out both annual and perennial weeds and can actually be the key to killing established perennial invaders such as dandelion and clover.
Types of Weeds
Winter annuals, a type of annual weed, germinate in late summer to early fall. They grow in fall, through winter warm spells, and into early spring. These weeds set seed in mid- to late spring, just before daytime air temperatures jump. Examples of winter annual weeds include Henbit, Annual Bluegrass, Chickweed, corn Speedwell and Lawn Burrweed .
When you treat your lawn for weeds in autumn, you’ll target fall-germinating weeds, such as Henbit and Chickweed . Dandelion also germinates in fall, although compared to spring, the number of seeds germinating is generally less.
Fall is also an excellent time to control perennial weeds, because that’s the time of year when plants begin a process of winter food storage, shifting internal foodstuffs from leaves to roots. If you treat perennial weeds with herbicide in fall, the chemical moves from leaves to roots, essentially killing the weed at the root.
Treatment & Timing
Application timing will vary depending on where you live. In more northern locations, treat lawns as early as Labor Day warmest areas may apply as late as October.
How To Get Rid Of Winter Weeds
Cool-season weeds and invasive grass maintain their green colors and stick out like a sore thumb on a yard filled with dormant grass during winter, making them an easy target for anyone struggling to fight weeds.
Killing off weeds during winter is a perfect way to guarantee the grass in your lawn will have no competition for resources when it starts to grow again in early spring. The methods discussed below are easy to implement and effective.
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What Are Those Weeds In My Lawn
Broadleaf weeds are the easiest to identify in your lawn because they look the least like the rest of the grass. The most common types of these weeds include dandelion, chickweed, and many others.
How do I kill weeds in my lawn in Florida? Florida lawn weeds can be controlled through proper mowing, hand removal, and selective herbicide applications. Preemergence herbicides must be applied before weed seeds germinate postemergence herbicides are applied after weeds have emerged. How do you fix a lawn full of weeds in Florida? Eliminating Weeds
Lay Down Landscape Fabric
One of the best ways to prevent weeds naturally is to install landscape fabric as a weed barrier. This is especially helpful whenever youre installing a new garden bed or landscape feature. You can purchase rolls of landscape material at your local hardware store. For best results, cover the installed fabric in at least 2 of mulch or stone.
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Use Boiling Salt Water
Pour Boiling Salt Water Make sure you wear oven mitts! While many plants thrive in direct sunlight, they dont fare so well when boiling hot water is poured on them!
This option works best for edges of your lawn like the separation from driveway to lawn or dirt bed to lawn.
Simply pour the water onto the weed-filled area and allow the heat and salt to strip the outer membrane and leave them to dry out & die.
Overpower Weeds With Healthy Grass
A healthy lawn or garden will fight weeds for water and nutrients in the soil, and the strongest plants will survive. Keeping your lawn lush and healthy will keep the weeds in your lawn at bay. And for your garden, plant flowers and garden crops that will naturally fight the weeds in your garden and overtake them.
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How Do I Resod My Yard Full Of Weeds
To get rid of weeds before laying sod, you should first apply a natural or chemical weed and grass killer to kill all existing weeds. Then, use a sod cutter to remove the old lawn and weeds. Finally, till the lawn, water it, and wait 1-2 weeks. This step is essential because it will cause any weed seeds to sprout.
Baking Soda The Powerful Natural Weed Killer
If youre still looking for that wonderful, natural weed killer, then baking soda is your next best bet. Similar to how vinegar works, baking soda absorbs all the moisture out of the plant when applied to it, leaving it dry and unable to regulate its moisture content. Only a teaspoon of baking soda is necessary for each plant you want to eliminate.
For one of the best remedies for killing weeds and grass where they shouldnt be growing, start by wetting the soil so that it is moist but not overwatered. Next, sprinkle a teaspoon of baking soda over the top of the entire weed, including the leaves and the soil surrounding the base.
Leave it for the plant to absorb, then reapply in approximately one month if you still notice weeds growing. Its important to realize that this method is not as successful with controlling weeds in areas with high salt content in their soils already, such as with plant life near the beach, but it does work well on average soil.
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Will Bleach Kill Grass
Absolutely! If youve run out of all the other options to kill weeds, then bleach destroys any piece of vegetation it touches. This DIY grass killer recipe also kills any plants you dont want to part with, so only use it in areas where there are no other plants around. Wear protective clothing and gloves when handling bleach.
Homemade Weed Control with Bleach
- 5 cups chlorine bleach
- 5 cups boiling water
Stir the bleach solution in a large bucket using a long-handled spoon or piece of wood to blend the ingredients. Pour the formula into a small spray bottle and cover the remaining bleach solution with a plastic tarp.
If you do not use the rest of the bleach after 24 hours, then throw it out. Spray the weeds directly and repeat the process as necessary once a week, though one spray should be sufficient for killing the weeds on contact.
Can I Get Rid Of Weeds In A Lawn Naturally
Yes! But it may take more time and effort. Spraying vinegar directly on weeds is a natural way to get rid of them. It dries out the plant leaves and kills whats above the ground.
Also, pick vinegar that contains more than the standard 5 percent acetic acid. Head to a home improvement store instead of the supermarket to find vinegar with 10 to 20 percent acetic acid.
If you spray that, you can kill 80 to 100 percent of weeds top growth, found USDA research.
This method works best for a few weeds spread throughout the lawn. For larger spreads, its best to go with a safe, effective herbicide.
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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.
Dowse Them With Boiling Water
This natural weed killer is practically free, and you definitely already have it on hand. All you need is a stove, a pot, and some tap water. Or, better yet, if you happen to have a stovetop tea kettle or an electric kettle, this process will be even easier. All you need to do is boil water, and then pour it directly on unwanted weeds. You may have to do this more than once if you have weeds with deep tap roots, but it will eventually kill them off. Be sure to avoid pouring boiling water on desired plants, since this is an indiscriminate killer.
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Chemical Methods To Remove Dollar Weed
Sometimes when all else fails, you may need to use a chemical method to control and eliminate Dollar Weed.
A herbicide such as Quali-Pro MSM Turf Herbicide should be applied while Dollar Weed is still actively growing. It is quite effective in spring because young plants are more vulnerable.
Chemicals are effective tools for managing unwanted weeds because the application of a herbicide will stop chemical processes such as photosynthesis, protein production, or root growth, crucial for the plant development.
Choose a herbicide that is safe for the grass in your lawn. The following herbicides are said to effectively remove Dollar Weed:
Lawn Weed Removal & Maintenance
If your weed problem is either just getting started, or you recently cleared out all the weeds and have a few coming back, it is important to maintain the weeds as they first come up.
Keeping your lawn well-watered, properly fertilized, and at a proper length are all ways to keep weeds at bay.
Specifically for dandelions, it is important to keep an eye out and pull them out before they seed.
These weeds famously will show you they are in their seeding period when their yellow flower changes into 15,000 seeds in a pouf on top.
Make sure to pull the plant out by the root and remove all root pieces from the grown if possible.
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Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer
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Most of the best weed killers on this list are post-emergents, but this one is a great pre-emergent. Heres why it is highly rated on this list:
- Prevents crabgrass all-season-long.
- Can be applied in spring, fall, and winter.
- Prevents winter weeds such as poa annua and chickweed.
- Prevents moss in lawns
- Can be applied during rain, which is unique
List of grass weeds it prevents: Crabgrass, Goosegrass, Barnyard grass, Spurge, Foxtail, Poa annua, Henbit, Chickweed.
Being a crabgrass preventer, ensure that you apply this herbicide at the onset of spring. This is the time when crabgrass usually starts to germinate. Poor timing might lead to ineffectiveness in preventing grass weeds in your lawn.
Crabgrass germinates best at 59F to 65F. So wait for soil to warm before applying pre-emergence crabgrass control.
Pry Weeds From Paving With A Weeder
The Telescoping Crack Weeder from Lee Valley Tools removes grass and other weeds from crevices in patios and walkways. The L-shaped stainless-steel blade fits between bricks and other pavers to reach and scrape pesky plants. The aluminum handle adjusts from 28 to 45 in., which means you can weed kneeling or standing.
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Use The Right Amount Of Fertilizer
If you don’t fertilize your grass, it’s time to start. Fertilizer is essentially food for your grass, and it provides it with all of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. While it may seem counterintuitive, fertilizer can be a great way to curb a weed problem the trick is to make sure you’re using the right amount. Too much fertilizer can encourage weed growth and send them into overdrive, whereas not enough fertilizer will make your grass too weak to stand up to weeds. The best defense against most types of weeds is a thick lawn to ensure there’s no room for them to take root.
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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