Reasons Your Lawn Is Full Of Weeds
Starting out, you probably want to know just why weeds have overtaken your grass, so you can prevent it from happening again.
- Poor grass growth: Weeds thrive in thinning grass. The best way to keep weeds out is to have thick, tall, dense grass all over your lawn. If your grass is cut too short, its more susceptible to a full-on weed invasion. Setting your mower to the highest setting can help with this.
- Not enough water: Weeds tend to have robust root systems, and can easily compete with your grass for moisture. If you are not watering your grass enough, the weeds can absorb what water there is, taking it away from your grassroots.
- Compacted soil: If your soil becomes too compacted, whether from excessive foot traffic or poor soil composition, your grassroots wont have access to the nutrients, water, or air they need. This stressed turf makes for an exceptional weed breeding ground.
What Are Some Natural Ways To Kill Weeds In Grass
Pouring boiling water onto the weeds is a good way to both kill the invasive plants at the roots and water the rest of the lawn at the same time. Simply bring your kettle to a boil and walk around your lawn, looking for newly-sprouted weeds. This method works better on sidewalks and other such areas, because the water can kill surrounding grasses if they are not particularly hearty.
There are several organic weed killers available to environmentally-conscious gardeners. One of these, corn gluten meal, is a safe, proven method for eliminating weeds and not killing the grass surrounding it. The milling process prevents weeds from germinating into full-grown plants, but should not be used on newly-grown grass. It also happens to be safe for animals and has the added bonus of adding nitrogen to your lawn. Nitrogen makes for great fertilizer and its one of the elements created when composting as well.
Whack Your Weeds Into Oblivion
If you dont have the energy or time to remove weeds from a large area manually, or if your unwanted weeds are too dense for mulch to smother effectively, then maybe its time to consider a mechanical option.
Whacking weeds into next week with the right weed trimmer is probably a smart idea if youre dealing with a dense coat of weeds that would take a lifetime to remove manually.
A mechanical weed trimmer wont permanently kill all of your weeds. However, a reliable weed trimmer can quickly reduce and damage weeds and make unmanageable overgrowth much easier to handle.
Once you bring your weeds down a notch, its much easier to apply natural herbicide, smother them, or manually uproot them if you wish.
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Identifying Common Lawn Weeds
Before I give you some tips on how to get rid of a lawn full of weeds, lets start by taking a closer look at some of the most common weeds you will encounter.
This is a broadleaf perennial with fibrous roots and short-winged stalk. The flowers are greenish-yellow in thin spikes. A non-chemical treatment can kill this weed.
Another common and probably the most recognizable garden weed is dandelion. This is a yellow flower with a deep taproot and a multi-petalled seed head. The roots can only be removed by a weeding tool.
This broadleaf annual has fibrous roots and causes hay fever. Again, a weeding tool is whats needed to remove the roots.
This white flower has spoon-shaped leaves and is often tinged with pink tips. The leaves can be killed with vinegar.
Grassy weeds and crabgrass
These types of weeds are quite deceiving as they look just like grass and grow in the same manner. Weeding tools are the best way to remove them.
These were just some of the many types of weeds that are typically found in lawns. So whats the best way to get rid of them? Keep reading to find out.
How To Destroy Brush
Vigorous shrubs and woody invaders from the wild are among the most difficult plants to eradicate from overgrown yards. Shrubs like tree of heaven , Brazilian peppertree and other woody weeds resprout from their roots, so cutting them down is only a short-term solution. However, herbicides that contain glyphosate, fluazifop or triclopyr can destroy these plants. These brush-killing herbicides are applied to the foliage or to cut stems, depending on the manufacturers’ instructions. Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves, safety goggles and a hat when using strong brush-killing herbicides. Spray on a still, dry day and store herbicides in a place where children and animals have no access.
Foliar applications are most effective when the shrub’s leaves are fully open at the end of summer or early in fall. If you’re applying a herbicide to cut stems, cut the stems when the shrubs are actively growing and don’t delay painting on the herbicide. You may have to wait several weeks to see results because the chemicals take time to move through the plant and into the roots. Don’t cut down woody weeds while you’re waiting for a herbicide to take effect.
Always wipe the blades of your pruning shears or pruning saw with rubbing alcohol before and after pruning shrubs to help prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
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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.
Making Use Of The All
Not all weed killers have to be completely herbicidal and chemical innature. In fact, it is actually extremely easy to create an all-natural weedkiller. All you will need is some extra-strength vinegar and you will have allthat you need to get the job done right.
With that being said, you will want to focus on white vinegar specifically, as this is the stronger, purer form of vinegar that you can purchase.
Pouring that vinegar into a spray bottle and getting ready to tackle all of the weeds in the land can make for a good afternoon or evening adventure, depending on just how large the land is.
If you want to get really specific about things, you will want to look for a white vinegar with an acetic acid content between 10% and 20%. This is when the acidity of the vinegar will reach levels where it can burn things, including skin, leaves, and weed roots.
Because it can burn skin, you will always want to wear gloves when you are spreading this stuff across your yard.
Keep in mind that the vinegar does not discriminate what you spray it at. This means that if you have weeds growing in a garden of vegetables that you want to end up keeping, then you should make absolutely sure that you are spraying only the weed and around the base of the weed.
Spraying around the base of the weed helps to ensure that the vinegar gets down to the roots of the plant, making sure there is no way that the weed will be able to return to your yard.
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Australian Lawn Weeds Distribution By Area
Now that weve covered the most common weeds in Australia, its time to talk a little bit about in which parts of the country you can find them in. To make things easier for you, weve categorised the above-mentioned plants by state, so that you can double-check which weeds grow in your area. Ok, lets start with
- Queensland bindii, nutgrass, crabgrass, winter grass, penny weed, carrot weed, and creeping oxalis
- Western Australia clover, crabgrass, thistle, catsear, and chickweed
- South Australia winter grass, thistle, nutgrass, catsear, and chickweed
- New South Wales bindii, nutgrass, crabgrass, penny weed, white clover, carrot weed, and creeping oxalis
- Victoria dandelions, winter grass, penny weed, white clover, carrot weed, and creeping oxalis
- Tasmania clovers, winter grass, dandelion, carrot weed, and creeping oxalis
Its Easy With A Trimmer
A quick way to clear your garden of weeds is to walk around it while using a trimmer.
It doesnt take much effort to use. You just point it in front of you and cut a path as you walk, chopping the weeds at the stem.
Its a lot easier than getting on your hands and knees to pull the weeds out yourself. But it wont do as complete a job of getting rid of them. Why?
Because it doesnt remove or kill the weed roots. So the plants will often regrow.
But if youre happy to trim the weeds in your garden regularly then this isnt a problem.
And once youve cut the weeds in your garden down to size, its easier to finish the job by digging up the roots with a tool.
You can also get metal brush cutter attachments for your trimmer. Turning it into one of the best tools for cutting down tall weeds with thick stalks.
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Hire A Team Of Goats To Munch Your Weeds Away
I saved the best weed removal tip for last. Heres a weed removal strategy that works even if you have an acre or more of weeds. Im talking about Goatscaping!
Goatscaping wins the day if you want to make your weeds disappear without backbreaking labor. Not only is Goatscaping one of the most fun weed removal methods, but its gaining steam. The Goatscaping trend is taking small towns everywhere worldwide by storm.
The way Goatscaping works is simple. You hire a team of professional goats to eagerly munch and snack upon your unwanted weeds. As a bonus, the goats even help to fertilize your land no extra charge required!
Goatscaping offers a boatload of giggles and also has many unobvious benefits. If you have children who love animals, then hiring a team of goats to remove weeds from a large area will be a spectacle that theyll remember and laugh about for a lifetime.
Another benefit of using goats to remove weeds over a large area is that goats can be ludicrously agile when they find foliage that they want to eat. Goats can reach places that your tractor, weed trimmer, or lawnmower cant! Nothing can stop them. Not even poison ivy! Food for thought and goats!
Roll Out The Landscape Fabric
Unroll the landscape fabric, cut it to fit, then lay down the pieces. You may want to affix the edges with rocks or pegs. If the area you are covering is wider than the width of the fabric, use several overlapping pieces to completely cover the section. If you are accommodating flowers or bushes, cut an x-shaped opening above the plant’s location and then pull it down over the desired plant.
Adding the landscape fabric.
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Give Horticultural Vinegar A Try
In 2002, the USDA researched weed control using vinegar. Annual weeds such as foxtail, pigweed, and lamb’s quarters were 80% controlled with horticultural vinegar, which isnt the stuff thats sitting around in your pantry . Horticultural vinegar worked best on small annual weeds that had germinated in the past two weeks. Unfortunately, it wasn’t effective on perennial weeds such as Canada thistle.
If you do choose to give horticultural vinegar a try, wear gloves and handle with care. After all, it is an acid that can cause skin irritation and eye injury. Because its also a contact herbicide, which means it doesnt move into the weeds roots, youll need to reapply in a week or two.
Finally, it’s important to note that horticultural vinegar kills whatever it touches! So, use carefully around the plants or grass you do want. It also washes off in rain, so time your applications for a hot, sunny day to get the most bang for your buck.
How To Prevent Thistles From Growing In Your Lawn
Good lawn care practices will prevent Thistles and other weeds from growing back.
Like I always say, weeds are a symptom of other problems as a result of poor lawn care practices.
If you follow these lawn care treatments, your lawn will be so thick and lush, there will be no room for weeds like Thistle to grow.
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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:
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 donât 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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Shots Are On The House
Got an old bottle of cheap vodka from your college days or last years Halloween party that you need help disposing of. Instead of leaving it sit, use it to kill some weeds.
Mix up a fatal cocktail by combining one ounce of vodka to two cups of water in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of dish soap to help this concoction stick to the weed and spray it directly on the weeds leaves.
Because this home weed remedy works through dehydration, its best to apply it around noon on a day when its supposed to be sunny and hot.
Use care not to get any spray on other plants, as itll have the same dehydrating effect on all plants and grasses.
Removing A Lawn With Herbicide
Applying a nonselective, post-emergent herbicide to your lawn is a relatively quick method of killing it. Pay attention to the types of plants the herbicide will kill and make sure it is appropriate for the job.
You can choose between concentrates that need to be mixed or premixed, ready-to-use varieties. While the premixed varieties are easier to use, the concentrates are more economical for large lawns.
Follow all the label instructions and safety precautions. Your lawn should be actively growing during application. Apply the herbicide and wait seven to ten days for the grass to die. You may need more than one application to kill well-established grass, adding time and cost to the project.
Misuse of any herbicide is dangerous and will have negative effects on the environment. While the environmental impact of herbicide is a consideration, those containing glyphosate as the active ingredient have fewer residual effects when used correctly than other herbicides.
While this method of lawn removal is less labour-intensive than some methods and has quicker results, its effectiveness is dependent on the weather. Rain can wash away the herbicide before it fully kills the grass, requiring you to apply more of the chemical to finish the job. Rain can also cause chemical runoff. Wind can blow the herbicide out of the target zone and onto plants you don’t want to kill or into a neighbour’s yard.
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Keep On Top Of Mowing
Want to know how to get rid of lawn weeds? Frequent mowing, to the right length, will help
Knowing how to mow a lawn properly is a skill that most grass-owning-gardeners need to know.
One of the most important things to remember is to not cut it too short, or when it’s frosted or wet, all of which can damage the turf. But mowing it in the right conditions, to the right height, will encourage strong, healthy grass. This will be better-equipped to out-grow weeds.
If your lawn is already speckled with the likes of creeping thistle or common ragwort, then regular mowing is also a good way to get rid of them.
Be sure to add a clippings bag or box to your best lawn mower before you start mowing. That way, you’ll be less likely to spread the seeds around, which would only lead to further weed growth. Removing all the seeds and cutting back the plant again and again in this way will weaken the weeds and prevent them from setting new seeds. Eventually , your lawn will have much less weeds overall.