We all dream of a lush and green lawn to enjoy all summer long. But often this dream is dashed by weeds popping up between the blades of grass. Occasionally, the weeds can get out of control and overtake a yard. Some people worry about treating a weed crisis because they worry they may accidentally ruin their lawns. While a large number of weeds can be discouraging, there are solutions to kill weeds, not grass. Read on to learn how to kill weeds in your lawn without harming your grass.
How Weeds in Lawns Work
To understand how to treat a lawn, it’s important to understand the weeds themselves. Weeds are plants, just like the grass in your lawn. Because they are plants, weeds flourish in the same conditions that a lush, green lawn would. Weeds also grow when the grass is cut low and the soil is compacted. These ideal conditions can lead to a lawn full of weeds, but there are a few different types of weeds to be aware of:
- Broadleaf weed. These weeds include dandelions, clover, ground ivy, oxalis, chickweed, thistle, dollarweed, and plantain. The leaves on these weeds are broad and flat.
- Grassy weed. These weeds include crabgrass, foxtail, annual bluegrass, and quackgrass. These weeds grow in blades and look like grass.
- Grass-like weed. These weeds include nut sedge, wild onion, and wild garlic. These weeds may look somewhat like grass, but they grow in a more tubular and hollow shape.
It’s important to identify which type of weeds are growing in your yard before choosing a treatment. Some products are specifically designed for certain types of weeds and can only be used for that kind.
The Steps for Controlling Weeds
These are the general steps for how to get rid of weeds in your lawn, regardless of the type of treatment.
- Identify the type of weeds. Determining if you’re working with broadleaf or grass-like weeds will help you choose the right products. The tips above can help or a professional can identify it as well.
- Choose a treatment. There are natural herbicides or products to use that can help treat your weed problem. If you use a product, choose one for the right type of weeds and grass that you have. If you choose a natural solution, read below to learn more about how to use it.
- Kill the weeds. If you use a product, follow the directions exactly. Consider reading the directions at least three times before starting. With whatever treatment you choose, make sure it is between 9 and 32 degrees Celsius with little to no wind and a very low chance of rain. All herbicides can’t differentiate between grass and weeds, so it’s crucial to only apply it to the weed. That’s why the lack of wind is crucial to help keep the products from blowing onto other plants.
- Maintain proper lawn care. Mow higher and water deeply to keep the grass from being too low or the soil too compacted. These techniques will help prevent future weed growth and make weed treatments last longer.
How to Get Rid of Weeds in Lawn
The best defense against weeds is a thick healthy lawn. Cool-season grasses, Tall Fescue, Ryegrass and Bluegrass thrive in moderate to above freezing temperatures 8-30degrees celcius. Warm-season grasses perform best in warm conditions ranging from 28-32 degrees celsius. Both grass types attract different weeds based on the environmental and regional challenges. Following the correct mowing height can prevent these weeds from germinating and establishing in home lawns. height for cool-season grass is between 2.5 and 4 inches, while warm-season grass grows between 1 and 3 inches. Maintain your cool-season grass at 4 inches and hot-season grass to 3 inches to combat weed growth and boost your turf’s health. Besides Mowing your lawn, here are some other effective ways to control weeds.
Hand Pulling Weeds
One highly effective way to control and stop the spread of weeds in your turf is by yanking the entire plant, including its root system. Pulling weeds is fun and easy if you only deal with a few stray weeds. However, if you’re removing all the weeds in your turf, you’ll find it more labor-intensive and demanding. Most grassy weeds have thorns and other dangerous physical features that make the weeds risky to pull by using your hands. The best thing about letting LAWKING Experts pull the weeds on your behalf is that it aids total removal of the weeds.
Pry Weeds With a Weeder
Prying weeds with a weeder is not a typical process of controlling weeds. However, homes and businesses with controllable turfs use this method to control weeds. The process requires pushing down the weeder’s handle while yanking the turf upwards using your other hand. Handheld weeders have a fulcrum to let you leverage the unit’s flow and movements. You might need to dig deeper into the soil to remove weeds with roots anchored deep into the ground.
Using Scuffle Hoe
Scuffle hoes are pretty demanding and labor-intensive, but they get the job done efficiently. A scuffle hoe will cut through the roots of the target weed. These units have adjustable cut depths, meaning you can adjust them to cut virtually any size or type of weed. However, scuffle hoes aren’t the best weed control tools if the target weeds have re-rooted into the soil and formed other underground parts.
Post-emergent Herbicides are types of weed control that control existing weeds and prevent them from growing again. These herbicides are primarily utilized on mature weeds regardless of the type and size. The process involves using advanced chemistry to destroy the weeds permanently and stop the possibility of growing in the future. The best thing with post-emergent herbicides is that they target the weeds and won’t damage the surrounding lawn.
If you decide not to use weed control products, there are natural herbicides that can be used. One of the most common ways is killing weeds with vinegar. To use vinegar as a natural herbicide, put vinegar in a spray bottle or pump spray and spread it along with a brush. Like with other herbicides, vinegar can’t differentiate between weed and grass. Spray the vinegar on the weeds in the early morning and only apply vinegar to the weeds and avoid hitting nearby plants.
Controlling weeds in your lawn is doable when following the right steps and using the right products. But you may want to prevent weed problems before they become a crisis. The best way to tackle these problems early on is with pre-emergent weed care. Pre-emergent weed care every six to eight weeks can keep weeds from becoming a crisis and help you stay in control of your lawn, helping it grow green and lush.
If you find weeds persist in your lawn, you may need the help of a lawn expert. Contact your local LawnKing Gardens Technician for lawn weed control and lawn pest control.