Natural Methods For Weed Removal In Your Lawn
If you dont like the idea of using chemical herbicide on your lawn then here are some natural methods you can try:
Pulling Weeds By Hand
Sometimes, the traditional way is the best. If you only have 1 or 2 plants to remove, then weeding by hand is usually quick and effective.
Use a trowel to dig down around the plant and remove it from the ground. Make sure you take the roots as well.
If you want to make the job easier, you can use a weed puller. This tool allows you to stand as you pull the weeds out of the ground.
The main drawback of removing them by hand is that it takes a lot of hard work if you have a lawn full of weeds.
And because some plants grow back quickly if you leave any of the root system behind, it can be difficult to completely get rid of them without taking great care.
A common problem weed thats very difficult to control by hand once its well established in your yard is nutsedge.
Another natural method that people often recommend is vinegar. This burns the weed on contact, killing every part it touches. Pour it into a handheld sprayer and then apply it to all visible parts of the plant.
Youll have to use a strong acetic acid solution of somewhere between 10-20% concentration. Normal table vinegar isnt usually powerful enough for the job.
But there are two problems with using vinegar.
Different Weed Types Different Strategies
Some Central and Southern Maryland weeds are annual, while others are perennial. And there are different groups of weeds in those two categories that germinate at different times of the year. Some weed control strategies can even be applied to multiple types of weeds from different categories.
Grassy summer annual weeds like crabgrass germinate in early to mid-spring when soil temperatures reach 55 degrees, typically mid-March. These weeds continue to germinate all summer and then die out with the first frost. Grassy winter annual weeds like annual bluegrass germinate in late summer to early September. Killing grassy annual weeds means promoting a healthy lawn and using pre-emergent herbicides at the right times of year, depending on the weed.
As opposed to annual weeds, perennial weeds come back each year. Getting rid of some of these weed types can be more difficult. such as grassy perennial weeds like killinga and nutsedge.
Broadleaf perennial weeds like dandelion and clover germinate in spring and summer and are not controlled by pre-emergent herbicides. They favor lawns that dont receive regular or adequate fertilization.
Identify The Weeds You Have
In order to make a successful game plan, youll need to know just what kind of weeds youre dealing with. Weed treatments are designed to target specific weeds, so what may work on your broadleaf weeds may leave your grass-like weeds A-OK.
Weeds come in multiple categories, either broadleaf, grass-like, or grassy.
- Common types: Clover, ground ivy, dandelions, chickweed
- Appearance: Similar to grass, with hollow leaves in a triangular or tube shape
- Common types: Nutsedge, wild garlic, wild onion
- Appearance: Resembles grass, grows one leaf at a time
- Common types: Foxtail, annual bluegrass, quackgrass, crabgrass
Weeds can be broken down further into categories based on their life cycleannual, biennial, or perennial.
- Annual: Produces seeds during one season only
- Biennial: Produces seeds during two back-to-back seasons
- Perennial: Produces seeds over many seasons
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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 Remove Weeds From Your Lawn
There are 2 options for removing weeds from your grass, first is to manually dig out the weeds or the second is to apply a chemical weed killer. You can use both methods if your lawn is established but do not use a Feed, Weed and Moss Killer on a newly seeded lawn.
To dig out we can use techniques such as aerating and scarifying the lawn or digging out the weeds with a spade and patching with grass seed.
Alternatively, you can apply chemicals such as Feed, Weed and Mosskiller which will provide nutrients to the grass and root system while killing off any undesirables in the lawn. Be sure to the instructions within the bag when applying. This weed killer usually takes around two weeks to work and can be easily recognised by the moss and weeds turning black. Simply scarify out the dead grasses and reseed if necessary.
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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.
Corn Speedwell And Its Prevention
Corn speedwell is a perennial ground cover that can behave like an invasive weed. Though many people like corn speedwell and other species of it for ground cover, it can be invasive. Its distinguishing characteristics are its small, white to blue flowers and hairy covering. Left unattended, it can take over parts of lawns, creating a real problem for property owners.
Even though lawn maintenance can prevent speedwell from taking over, herbicides may be needed. There are two kinds of corn speedwell herbicides: preemergent and postemergent. The first can be used as a preventive measure, and the second is an option if the speedwell is starting to grow.
You can try a spray for smaller areas and concentrated ones for bigger areas. Dilute concentrated products with water and use a knapsack sprayer or a regular watering can. There are online resources that show what times of the year corn speedwell germinates in different USDA plant hardiness zones. This can help you figure out when to apply the herbicides.
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Can You Use Bleach To Kill Weeds And 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.
How To Eradicate Speedwell In Lawns
The University of Massachusetts Extension Center for Agriculture classifies corn speedwell as a perennial that can become a problem weed for property owners. There are around 500 species of speedwell, and because corn speedwell in particular can be quite invasive, you will likely need an effective corn speedwell killer to eradicate it.
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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 blocking light that needs to reach the leaves of 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.
Pouring Boiling Water To Kill Weeds
Pros: No chemicals, great for reaching between cracksCons: Effectiveness inconsistent, can be time-consuming for large areas, cannot spot treat weeds in lawn
Whichever method you choose, monitor your lawn and repeat treatments as necessary.
Now, go forth and slay some weeds! Good luck!
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Lawn Is Filled With Weeds
When faced with a lawn full of weeds it can seem a daunting task of how to eradicate them successfully.
Whether you have just been too busy in todays hectic world, or you have moved into a new property, its not difficult to bring the lawn under control.
It can take just a simple step-by-step approach.
A simple 10-minute stroll through your lawn to remove weeds by hand is one of the best ways of keeping them under control.
See our video below for a great demonstration.
Blanket Spray If Theres A Lot Of Weeds
What if you have so many weeds that spot treating isnt an option?
If you have a lot of weeds mixed in with your lawn it might seem ridiculous to go around and spray each individual weed.
Instead, youre better off blanket spraying your entire lawn. Blanket spraying usually requires a larger 4 gallon tank sprayer with a handle for pumping: 4 Gallon Tank Sprayer
You simply mix a liquid herbicide with water and walk your entire lawn while spraying. I like to go up and down in rows, usually following my mowing lines.
You can blanket spray using the same Ortho Weed B Gone product as mentioned above in the Spot Spraying section or you can use a product called Tenacity.
Tenacity, is a great herbicide for blanket spraying because it is usually a little more forgiving if you over apply. It can also be effective in controlling some grassy weeds such as Poa Annua.
Another bonus of Tenacity is if youre planning on seeding areas of your lawn or planning on a lawn renovation this is a safe product to use. Many other liquid herbicides recommend pausing applications at least a month before seeding. With Tenacity you can apply leading up to your renovation. Usually you can even treat weeds at the same time as seeding .
Just like with spot treating, mixing Surfactant into your liquid herbicide will make blank spraying more effective.
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How To Kill Broadleaf Weeds In Lawns
There are a variety of weeds in the broadleaf weed category.
Some of these weeds are annual meaning they germinate and only grow through one year. However, they produce many seeds, multiplying weeds in the next year. Certain species, like chickweed and henbit, germinate from late fall through winter. Others dont germinate until the summer, making an unsightly mess in summer and fall. Getting rid of these lawn weeds means recognizing them in the lawn and targeting them with the proper post-emergent products. Some of these weeds may be moderately controlled with pre-emergents but most need treatment after they emerge.
Other weeds are classified as perennial weeds. Their foliage may disappear at particular times of the year but they will reappear later. Dandelion and clover are some of the weeds in this category. Some of these weeds are easier to control than others, and each has their favorite lawn conditions to flourish in. Clover, for instance, prefers lawns grown with infrequent applications of fertilizer.
In addition to encouraging a healthy lawn, getting rid of these weeds is best done with a post-emergent herbicide applied when the weed is actively growing.
How To Prevent Weeds From Growing
Annual grassy weeds, like crabgrass and foxtail, are easily stopped in spring, when the seeds and tiny seedlings are most vulnerable, so they dont become a problem in summer. Applying a crabgrass preventer, like Scotts® Turf Builder® Halts® Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food or Scotts® Halts® Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer , stops listed weeds before they start to grow. Be sure to follow all label directions.
Here are a few other tips for preventing weeds:
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Common Lawn Weeds And How To Get Rid Of Them
Even the best-tended lawns come under attack from common weeds. Weed seeds float in on the wind, creeping weeds claim more territory, and weeds you thought you pulled quietly continue to grow. How well your lawn copes with the onslaught depends on the weeds involved, the response you choose and your lawns overall health. Understanding common lawn weeds and the options available to fight them can help you successfully combat the invasion.
To help simplify weed defense, weve charted 10 common lawn weeds, including their characteristics, type and how they spread, and most importantly- how to eliminate them. Weeds, like ornamental garden plants, can be annuals or perennials. Annual weeds, such as crabgrass, complete their entire life cycle in a single growing season, and then die, leaving seeds behind to continue the legacy. Perennial weeds, such as dandelions, come back year after year from their roots, and distribute new seeds to boot. Weeds can also be grass-like, broadleaf or sedge. Choosing the right weed control product requires understanding the weed you want to fight and its stage of growth. Pre-emergent weed controls, sometime called preventers, work to keep weed seeds from germinating and developing. Post-emergent weed controls fight weeds that have already germinated and emerged from the soil.
Make Sure You Don’t Do This
Often people turn to the internet asking how do you kill weeds and they come across several solutions like:
1. RoundUp4. Salt Water5. Gasoline
While its true that these methods will kills the weeds, do not spray these on your weeds if they are within your lawn. These methods will work, but they will kill EVERYTHING as a result.We have people call every year asking I sprayed weed killer on my lawn and I have white/yellow patches everywhere now. They used a product listed above and that’s why it killed everything!
Only use these products on driveways, back alleys, rock patios or gravel pads where there isn’t any grass!
The good news is that you can kill weeds within your grass if you follow the instructions below!
We will break this down into weed prevention to stop weeds from showing up in the first place and weed control to tackle the weeds if theyve already arrived at the party.
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Weeds: Why We Hate Them
Those pesky little plant imitators that seem to grow endlessly despite all efforts to eradicate are back!
Weeds are often green, leafy, and sometimes they fit right in with the rest of the grass we grow in our yards.
But weeds are different than grass they suck the nourishment out of even the best-looking lawns and gardens, and crowd out the soft, uniform grass we all strive to grow in our lawn.
Left unabated, weeds will take over your lawn, suffocate your plants, and make your lawn appear patchy, thin, and ugly.
I often find myself wishing that turf grass was as tough and resilient as lawn weeds. But I guess if it was easy to maintain a perfect lawn, everyone would do it.
Mowing too often, watering shallowly, improper fertilizing methods, and poor soil conditions, are all ways inexperienced homeowners foster the perfect habitat for various types of weeds.
So lets get into my guide to lawn weed identification so you know what kind of a problem you have in your lawn, and how to solve it.
Cut The Grass On A Regular Basis
Finally, mow the grass regularly.
Cutting the grass is by far the most important part of keeping a healthy lawn. Its also the most overlooked which is why so many people get it wrong.
When grass is healthy it grows, and, if you let it, it will keep growing upwards.
Buy cutting the grass on a regular basis you prevent it from growing upwards so it looks for other ways to grow. This means it grows sideways, producing new side shoots that new grass leaves grow from.
These new runners and grass leaves create a thick, lush lawn that prevents weed seeds from reaching the soil and germinating. It also means you dont cut too much off the grass leaf away at one time.
If you only ever cut the grass every few weeks it wont grow sideways, itll keep growing upwards. Then when you do cut it short, you rob the grass of its water supply and food stores. This shocks it and turns it brown and spiky, even kills it.
So mow the lawn regularly, at least every 10 days between April and October. Take that down to 7 days when conditions for growth are at their best, usually in May and September.
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