It is always a nice feeling sinking our feet into radiant, healthy grass in our lawns. No one wants a lawn full of weeds that will graze their toes. Unfortunately, weeds always find their way into lawns.
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If you spot a certain weed and ignore it, you will find several of them in your lawn within a short period.
Luckily, you can always fix your lawn, even when the weeds have overtaken the grass.
Why Do Weeds Grow in a Lawn?
Before that, you need to understand why weeds are growing in your lawn so that you can know how to prevent them from growing once you successfully fix your lawn. Here are some of the reasons:
1. Foot Traffic
People or pets who walk into your lawn can bring weed seeds into it. Buds may be stuck in clothing or footwear and get dropped in your lawn.
Some weed seeds such as those of dandelions may be blown to your lawn from other areas. Once they reach the soil, they start the germination process.
Your soil can be a thriving area for several varieties of weeds. Weeds thrive in soils that are not properly irrigated. Undernourished and compacted soils provide good growing areas for weeds.
4. Mowing Practices
Cutting your grass to less than 2.5 inches encourages the growth of weeds. Always mow your grass high and frequently. Tallgrass provides shade to the soil, which prevents the germination of weeds as they do not get exposed to the sun.
Common Weeds that Invade Lawns
As much as dandelions are beautiful and edible, they might take over your lawn after some time. They have deep tap roots which makes the weeds re-emerge when one uproots the plant and leaves some part of the root in the soil.
If dandelions have invaded only a small part of your lawn, you can pull them out using your hands. Make sure you do not leave some parts of the root in the soil as they will develop to new plants.
Lawns planted with dense turf grass are rarely affected by dandelions.
You can also use pre-emergence herbicides to treat your lawn before planting grass to kill weed seeds that may be present.
Chickweed is a winter annual that loves highly watered areas. Soils with neutral pH provide a good growing area for chickweed.
When the plant is still small and has not flowered, it is easy to pull chickweed out.
If the weeds have overgrown and largely invaded your lawn, you can get rid of them by applying herbicides.
3. Yellow Nuts Edge
The weed has grass shaped leaves, and its cross-section is v-shaped. Yellow nutsedge is a perennial weed that forms dense colonies.
To control the growth and spread of yellow nutsedge, you can use approved herbicides.
The weed has heart-shaped leaflets which are purplish. They have bright yellow flowers and hairy stems. Oxalis is a perennial weed and has a shallow, taproot system.
The use of herbicides can eradicate oxalis
How to Get Rid of the Weeds
To completely get rid of weeds in your lawn, follow the following steps:
1. Clean your Lawn
Get rid of weeds using a hand shovel before mowing it. Remove the entire weeds and their roots. Cutting them is not enough. Don’t leave the uprooted weeds on the ground as they can start growing after some time.
2. Mow your Lawn
Whether you are using a self-propelled lawnmower, reel mower, or electric cordless lawn mower, set the blades at a high setting.
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3. Use Weed Killers
Spray weed killers directly on the weeds and avoid applying them on the grass as they might kill it.
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4. Aerate Your Lawn
You can use a lawn aerator to aerate your lawn. Aerate it in a horizontal direction, from one end to the other. Go across the lawn vertically too. Then, go across the lawn diagonally. Aeration helps air and water to get into the grassroots, which encourages dense growth of the grass. Weeds will rarely grow in dense grass.
5. Use a Weed-Killing Fertilizer
Spread the fertilizer all over the grass after it has dried. a lawn fertilizer containing phosphorous potassium and nitrogen will help the grassroots develop properly.
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Best Way to Get Rid of Weeds Permanently
Even though we acknowledge weeds as a problem, they are just plants like grass, flowers, or shrubs. Meaning, they will grow thick and rampant if we let them. So, the most excellent way to get a lawn free of weeds is to make your lawn an environment where it is difficult for them to thrive.
Not regularly mowed grass, compacted soil and insufficient watering are the reason why it encourages weeds. Fixing these problems and maintaining a healthy lawn is the best way to permanently say goodbye to weeds.
Preventing the Growth of Weeds in a Newly Established Lawn
1. Use Weed-Free Seeds
When establishing a new lawn, using seeds which do not contain weed seeds is essential. You will rarely have problems with the invasion of weeds in your lawn.
Before planting the seeds, use a rake to lose the soil and lift thatch. Spread the seeds all over your lawn using a broadcast spreader.
After establishing a new lawn, make use of seasonal treatment to avoid the growth and development of weeds. You will not have to keep on reseeding your lawn from time to time.
2. Water the Soil
Water your new grass at least twice in a week. However, how much water your lawn requires will depend on the type of grass, type of soil in the lawn and the climatic conditions of your area.an oscillating lawn sprinkler is effective for watering the soil, as the water does not wash away the seeds.
Using Herbicides to Kill Weeds
- Examine your lawn to determine the type of weeds present.
- Different products target specific weeds, so you should know the exact weeds before buying any products.
- If you want to treat your lawn before the growing season, use pre-emergent herbicides.
- For already established lawns, use post-emergent herbicides.
- Follow the usage directions carefully.
- Only apply the specified amounts and at the specified time.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is good to wait for three months after planting a new lawn before applying any chemical product. Before this, the grass is still very sensitive and can easily get damaged
It is possible to get rid of weeds in a lawn using vinegar, although this might take a lot of time and effort. Spray vinegar on the weeds. They will die after some time. The vinegar should contain 10-20% acetic acid. The method works well when you are dealing with just a few weeds and not a larger weed spread in your lawn.
There are several products available for killing moss. Growth of moss in a lawn is usually an indication of an acidic lawn. A shaded lawn will provide a good thriving area for moss too. To completely eradicate the moss, reduce the acidity of the lawn and prune the trees around to reduce shade.
When uprooting weeds, you may be leaving part of the root under the soil surface which emerges after some time.
Aerating a lawn loosens the soil allowing oxygen, water, and other nutrients to reach the roots of the grass.
A weed-free lawn is attractive, healthy and lush. It is still possible to fix a lawn that has been highly invaded by weeds using the guidelines above. After succeeding, practice proper lawn maintenance practices that will help prevent the growth and development of weeds.