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.
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.
Using A Weed Preventer
You can use weed preventer granules, such as Preen, to prevent weeds from growing for a temporary period of about three months. Some bottles come with a handy dispenser that enables you to spread the granules around plants, bushes, and trees.
Some weed preventers also come with a fertilizer for plants, so you get both benefits.
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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. And make sure the product you choose is labelled for use on the weed types growing on your lawn.
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.
Discourage Lawn Weeds From Taking Over
Whats the best weed killer for lawns? There are actually a number of answers, but the common thread is being proactive. Here are some lawn weed control techniques to prevent weeds from getting a head start in your garden:
- Mulching with bark or wood chips or compost is a great way to smother weed seeds. You can also put down plastic or ground cloth under pathways with wood chips or gravel to prevent grass and weeds from poking through. One of the other benefits of mulching is that you can keep your soil more moist, which helps plants grow in the hot and humid environments in the southern United States.
- Avoid turning your soil in your garden beds, digging only as deeply as you need to plant seeds or bedding plants. By following a no-till method, you will be less likely to encourage new weeds and studies show it helps encourage soil fertility.
- When feeding your lawn, be careful not to over or under fertilize. Too much fertilizer will encourage crabgrass and other weeds, while underfeeding will keep your lawn from being healthy enough to compete with weeds.
- Water garden and lawns deeply but only as often as necessary. Light watering discourages your plants and lawn grasses from sending deep roots into the soil and instead encourages many weeds that have shallow root systems.
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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.
Using A Chemical Lawn Fertilizer With Weed Control
A fertilized lawn has fewer weeds since a healthy lawn is dense and leaves little space for unwanted plants to grow. Therefore, both fertilizing your lawn and spreading a weed preventer help control weeds. There are some products available that combine lawn fertilizers with weed control, such as Scott’s Turf Builder with Weed Control.
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How To Prevent Weeds In Your Lawn
The healthier your lawn is, dictates its ability to fend off any unwanted specimens. Keeping that in mind, there are many things that you can do to optimise conditions especially as we come out of Winter.
Pick Up The Rake While commonly used as a method to remove leaves and debris, a good old fashioned raking will help to find matted patches of grass where the blades are stuck together. This is often caused by a disease known as snow mold. Matted patches must be cleared in order to allow new grass to grow and access air.
Fertilise Your Lawn By fertilising your lawn, youre allowing the nutrients and microbes to wake up after virtually hibernating during the cooler months. It will also encourage your lawn to develop the strength that it needs to make it through the stress brought on by the heat of the upcoming summer. Try an organic and chemical free plant probiotic like BioBooster for a safer family alternative.
Hydration The cusp of spring is a great time of the year to start training your lawn to be less-dependent on frequent watering. However, instead of busting out the sprinkler daily, try watering deeper and less often this will encourage root growth to go deeper into the soil, making your lawn stronger and more tolerant .
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.
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Mowing Properly And Regularly
Your grass should be cut every week during the Spring, and at least every ten days during the summer. Mulching the grass back into the lawn helps spread grass seed and increase turf thickness. Your blades need to be sharpened yearly and never cut the grass more than 1/3 of its total length. Every time your mow your lawn, you also mow the weeds which takes them out of the picture of a couple days, but dont forget that the roots are still alive and well and they will try to grow back.
Apply Corn Gluten Meal
There are nontoxic products that you can use on your grass that work just as well as herbicides, and the best is corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal is great for your grass because it contains nitrogen, and it also prevents the seeds from weeds from germinating. You shouldn’t use it if you’ve planted seeds you want to keep, though, as it can have an adverse effect on these as well. It’s best to use corn gluten meal early in the Spring before you see weeds. Applying it to already-established weeds will just be feeding them and can make your problem worse.
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Should I Pull Weeds Or Spray Them
Spraying. Digging up weeds removes the entire weed, roots and all, from the ground. Individually removing weeds also ensures that your existing plants are not damaged or accidentally killed in the process. The unsightly weeds are completely removed from your garden, providing you immediate gratification.
Natural Weed Prevention Using Landscape Fabric
A chemical can help prevent weeds from growing for only a few months, after which they will reappear if you don’t reapply the chemical. For longer-lasting results, you can use landscape fabric, which prevents them from growing for several years. Landscape fabric blocks the sun from the covered area, preventing unwanted plants from growing, although it still allows air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the soil. You can cut holes in this fabric to allow certain plants to live happily.
Use landscape fabric on any area that you dont want weeds to grow on, large or small, such as a flower bed or a narrow alley that is difficult to mow. Rolls of this material can be purchased from hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s or in the garden section of a grocery store.
When laying down the landscape fabric, there are several steps you need to follow. The following video shows how to lay down landscape fabric around plants, and it is followed by steps that describe how to completely cover an alley.
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Reasons You May Not Get Rid Of Weeds In Your Lawn And What To Do
When it comes to lawn care concerns, weeds are likely high on your list. Weeds popping up throughout the season take away from the overall beautyand the enjoymentof your lawn.
While you may have tried to get rid of weeds in the lawn, or maybe even hired a pro to handle it, there are some stubborn ones that just wont seem to go away. Youre frustrated and youre looking for a solution that will actually work.
The truth is, there could be a variety of reasons why weeds are sticking around. Well explore some of the most common reasons you may be struggling to get rid of weeds in your lawn, and what you can do about it.
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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How To Get Rid Of Weeds Naturally
One of my least favorite parts about gardening is dealing with weeds! It seems like new ones pop up every day in my lawn and in our vegetable garden, and Im hesitant to spray commercial weed killers. Id love for the toddler and the puppy to be able to play in the grass without worrying about toxic chemicals, and I certainly dont want any of that near the veggies we plan on eating! Luckily there are plenty of ways to get rid of weeds naturally. Here are my favorites!
Youre Not Mowing Properly
You might be surprised to know that your mowing habits can also have an impact on your struggle to get rid of weeds in the lawn. When you mow your grass too short or you scalp the edges along your walkways and driveway, you are creating conditions that may be favorable for weed growth.
As we mentioned, opportunistic weeds like crabgrass and many broadleaf varieties love thinned out areas of your lawn where its easy for them to get lots of access to the sun. To prevent this, we recommend mowing to a height of at least 3.5 inches. Doing so will also help your soil retain more moisture for your grass.
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How To Deal With Weeds In Your Lawn
Weeding is an effective, targeted way to kill weeds in a lawn. Dig weeds up by the root using garden tools such as a dandelion digger or sickle blade. Weed seeds can lie dormant for years, so avoid perennial weeds by not digging too deeply. Weed early and often. Hoe planting beds regularly with a dutch or push hoe.
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.
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Natural Methods For Weed Removal In Your Lawn
Many people nowadays are looking to natural methods to cure weed issues rather than using chemicals.
There is a natural remedy made with vinegar, salt and regular dishwashing liquid.
Vinegar has been known to be a natural weed killer by killing the plant above ground.
It needs to be a strong vinegar, at least 10-20% acetic acid. Place this into a spray bottle.
Next, take any regular dishwashing liquid and place a few drops into the vinegar.
This acts as a way to break up the vinegar so it can be absorbed more easily.
This should be placed directly onto weeds in areas that you would like the soil to remain usable even after removing these weeds.
If there is an area in which you would like to kill everything no matter what the case, then take a slightly different approach.
You should take a gallon of the same vinegar, and place in 2 cups of table salt or any other type of salt that can be bought at any grocery store.
Mix extremely well and add about a teaspoon or a few drops of the same dishwashing liquid.
Either pour or spray this onto the area of weeds and plants you would like to kill, and you should never have any issues with weeds growing here ever again as the salt will essentially sterilize the soil.
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!
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Lawn Care & Maintenance
If you dont take good care of your turf, its not unusual to see weeds take over your entire lawn.
The most important thing you can do to keep weeds out of your lawn is to make sure it grows in perfect health.
A thick, lush lawn leaves less opportunity for weeds to establish themselves. And crowds out any that start to grow.
Here are some lawn maintenance tips that help to keep weeds away:
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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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