How To Restore A Lawn Full Of Weeds
Read our handy guide on how to restore a weedy, patchy lawn to its former glory.
If your lawn is patchy and full of weeds, it will never be the envy of the neighborhood. What youre after is a lush, green lawn with even grass and no dandelions poking their way through. That may sound hard to achieve, but it isnt too difficult if you follow these steps.
If you only have a few pesky weeds punctuating your lawn, you may be able to dig them up by handpaying careful attention to make sure you get them roots and all. But if your lawn is overrun with weeds, you may need to start from scratch. Heres our how-to guide on restoring a lawn full of weeds.
Once your lawn is nice and green, we recommend hiring a professional lawn care company to help you maintain it to keep it weed-free. Our top recommendation goes to industry leader TruGreen.
Strengthen The Grass With Balanced Fertilizing And Aeration
Establishing a healthy lawn is a crucial step for getting rid of weeds
The growth of weeds can signal a lack of nutrients in your lawn. For example, lesser trefoil and clover will thrive in poorer conditions, whereas grass will become weak. So, if you want less weeds, then it’s a good idea to give your lawn some TLC. Remove as many weeds as possible first, and then apply a healthy dose of a suitable lawn fertilizer, following the instructions on the packet. The best time to do this is generally in late spring, and then again in autumn.
However, for the best results, aerate your lawn a day or so before you fertilize it. Aerating the soil will ensure that the nutrients can make their way deep down into the roots of the grass, increasing uptake. Some people choose to overseed their lawn after aerating too, which helps to establish dense, lush growth.
Aerating is simple just wiggle a garden fork back and forth in the ground in straight lines up and down your plot, or use a specific aerator tool. This process also helps to break up compact soil and improve drainage, which again, is good for lawn health .
Looking for more advice? Our spring lawn care tips feature has plenty.
Select The Best Herbicide For The Job
Now youre ready to choose a weed killer, and the weeds you identified in step one should inform your decision. If you had the foresight to recognize the weeds that gave you trouble last year, you could apply a pre-emergent herbicide before they come up this year. Pre-emergent herbicides prevent weed seeds from taking root so that you can avoid them altogether. Best of all, they wont kill grass that is already established.
Youll need a post-emergent herbicide if weeds have already taken root in your lawn. Many of these products all non-selective herbicides also kill healthy grass, so be careful in your selection. A selective weed killer designed to kill the weeds you have an issue with is more likely to be safe to use on your lawn and even in garden beds.
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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.
Should You Use Herbicides If Your Lawn Is Nothing But Weeds
Many herbicides are harmful to humans, honey bees, and animals and thus worth avoiding at all costs.
These include neonicotinoids , glyphosate , and others.
If using herbicide will be an important part of your plan, then do your due diligence and research its effects. However, Id strongly suggest that there are other effective measures that have no harmful consequences.
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Some Weeds Cannot Be Controlled Selectively
Weed control can be broken down into two main product categories: selective and non-selective. Selective weed controls, for the most part, will control one group of weeds without harming turfgrass, while non-selective weed control targets all vegetation .
To protect your turfgrass, you want to choose selective control. For instance, the majority of broadleaf weeds can be controlled by broadleaf weed control. There are also different variations of selective grassy weed control depending on what type of grassy weeds you have in your yard.
The trouble is, some types of invasive weeds cannot be controlled selectively. This could be the reason why putting down certain products has not resulted in getting rid of weeds.
My Lawn Already Has Weeds What Are They And What Can I Do About It
The snow has barely melted, but you may be noticing that there are weeds already popping up here and there. Seeing these weeds may make you wonder: Why does it take care and work to maintain grass, but weeds just grow everywhere?
Why Do I Have So Many Weeds?
Weeds grow quickly and are resilient. Many types favor conditions that happen naturally, depending on your weather and your soil. Some weeds thrive in constant moisture, some like when you cut your lawn very short, some want constant shade, and others like the compacted soil that so many species of grass cant handle. Just like there are many different types of grass, there are many different types of weeds: broadleaf weeds, which grow close to the ground dandelions, which are easy to spot and white clover, with tell-tale triple leaves and white flowers.
How to Control the Weeds in Your YardControlling weeds is a year-round project. Superior Lawn Care has a 5-step lawn care program that includes steps to ensure that your lawn is green and healthy during every season. We fertilize according to your lawns needs and also apply weed control. During the first step in the program, in March and April, the weed treatment that we apply is used to prevent and control spring broadleaf weeds such as dandelion and clover. In May and June, the treatment concentrates on summer weeds, and in July and August, on weeds that thrive in the hot, humid weather we experience during that time.
Pittsburgh Weed Control in Spring and Summer
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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.
Reseeding Could Be A Solution
Take a close look at the lawn. If you see plenty of healthy grass among the weeds or large areas of good grass throughout the lawn, you can save the existing grass and fill in the rest by planting new seeds. That calls for applying a broad leaf herbicide, which kills the weeds without harming the grass.
Reseeding is a job you can do in a weekend if you have an average-sized lawn. Youll have to wrestle home a couple of engine-powered rental machines. And once your work is done, be prepared to keep the soil damp with daily watering for the first month or so. Its the key to a successful reseeding job.
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Eradicaticating The Weeds In Your Yard
Classic method #1 pull them out by hand.
Classic method #2 use a tool.
The modern method that hasnt been around that long : use chemicals.
Chemicals are basically magic! The chemical wizards have even developed different methods to target specific plants at specific times of year.
We recommend that you use a program specifically designed for your climate, turf type, seasons, and soil type. At Top Choice, we partner with our good friends over at Emerald Lawns. They have a 9-step program that accomplishes all of these things. You canread more about it here. Notice that their program treats weeds, but it also is designed to improve turf health. It kills weeds, but it also feeds the turf.
Your Soil Is Compacted
Good soil health is incredibly important when it comes to growing healthy grass. Healthy soil promotes root growth and development. However, when soil becomes compacted, it puts a great amount of strain on your turf because it doesnt allow nutrients, oxygen, and water to penetrate the soil.
Conversely, there are a variety of weed species that have adapted to compacted soil conditions. Crabgrass, for instance, is an opportunistic weed that will thrive in compacted soil, quickly filling in bare spots where grass is struggling to grow.
If you cant seem to get rid of weeds in the lawn, solving your compaction problem may actually help your lawn to become thicker, resulting in less weeds. Fortunately, this is something that aeration can remedy by loosening up the soil and allowing more oxygen, water, and nutrients to penetrate below the surface where grass roots truly need them. Anything you do to promote a healthier lawn could ultimately lead to less weeds in the future.
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Getting Rid Of Weeds In Lawn Naturally
Compacted soil is the enemy of a great lawn. Grassroots struggle to get access to enough oxygen, water, and nutrients down into their roots. Meanwhile, weeds take over.
Invest in one of the many lawn aeration tools available, allowing you to reintroduce airflow and nutrients by creating deep thin holes across your lawn surface.
5. Pull weeds out by hand
Perhaps the most environmentally-friendly way of getting rid of weeds is to pull them out by hand. These weeds can then be left to dry in the sun and used as compost or mulch.
However, its easier said than done when it comes to pulling out all those weeds from a large lawn area. So if youre looking for quicker ways, you may want to try my other suggestions instead.
6.Use a home-made herbicide
Boiling water is by far the simplest natural herbicide you can use to kill your weeds. Simply boil a large pot of water on the stove, then pour it over the leaves and stems of the weeds.
Boiling water doesnt harm the environment and works effectively to burn the weeds. Word of caution: take extra care when carrying the big pot of boiling water as you dont want to burn yourself in the process.
7. Sprinkle cornmeal
Simply sprinkle your lawn with cornmeal to prevent the seeds from germinating. This natural treatment is best done in early spring. Note: dont try this method on your vegetable garden. Otherwise, you wont harvest anything!
8.Cover with mulch
9. Pickle them with vinegar
Clover As A Lawn Grass
Clover is usually considered a weed and is fought with herbicides and other remedies by homeowners and landscape professionals in their quest for a perfect lawn containing nothing but turf grasses. A little reflection and botanical knowledge though can show you that white clover can be an ideal component within a blend of turf grasses. The fact that clover is a legume means that it actually makes its own nitrogen and fixes it in the soil. Not only does clover not require any nitrogen fertilizer, but it also supplies nitrogen for other nearby plants. Add this to the fact that clover is drought-tolerant, and we soon begin to wonder why we dont want clover in our lawns.
In fact, clover actually was an intentional part of the typical American lawn prior to World War II. At that time, clover was a part of widely available seed blends, along with fescues, ryegrasses and Kentucky bluegrass. Because of its ability to thrive in poor soil, fix its own nitrogen and survive in drought conditions, clover was deliberately added to grass mixes in order to aid in the growth of the surrounding grasses.
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Preventing Weeds With Landscape Fabric
If you havent applied mulch yet, landscape fabric or weed barrier cloth is a safe way to block weeds while still allowing water to pass through to the soil. Unfortunately, landscape fabric isnt a perfect solution because some determined weeds will push through the fabric, and those weeds will be extremely difficult to pull.
Sometimes, good old hand-pulling is still the most effective way of getting rid of weed growth in mulch.
Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and much more environmentally friendly.
How To Get Rid Of A Lawn Full Of Weeds
All year long, we look forward to sinking our feet into lush, radiant green grass. But nobody wants stringy ivy, coarse clovers or fuzzy dandelions grazing your toes instead!
And once you’ve spotted one, you’re sure to see more! Weeds seem to keep multiplying until theyre a huge, unattractive problem.
Luckily, you can bring your lawn back to life by ridding it of weeds and boosting your turf’s health. Heres how to get rid of weeds in your grass for good.
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Weed Control: 5 Reasons Why Is It Not Working
Many perennial weeds can be controlled by applying weed control in the fall. This is especially true of wild violets, ground ivy and clover. In the fall, the weeds are sending carbohydrates down into the root system. By spraying in fall, even as late as November, the weed control material will be moved into the root system, preventing the weeds from growing the following year.
Are Clovers Bad For My Garden
Not really, having clovers benefits your garden. They help your lawn by adding nitrogen to the soil, which gives the surrounding flora a good boost. Also, the plant needs little to no maintenance it requires minimum fertiliser, compost, or weeding and is drought tolerant. Clovers can save your garden from other weeds by out-competing them and do well in more shady spots.
On the other hand, clovers give birth to small blossoms which can attract bees. Bees are extremely important for the environment and you should never harm them but try having a lawn covered by the insect. So, for those that are allergic to the striped bug, having a lawn covered in hundreds of tiny flowers isnt the best garden solution out there.
Also, if you are looking for a clean and uniformed green space, clovers wont do you much good in terms of aesthetics. This sort of plant can easily out crowd turf and ornamental grass, giving your lawn a weedy and unmaintained look.
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