So now it’s autumn, and the beautiful rain can’t wait to water your beautiful garden. You look outside your house every morning and notice that some beautiful flowers are starting to flourish. You like the work you’ve done so far to plant your lawn and have that stunning look.
But wait! Do you know that as the rains water your plants, the weeds are also benefiting? In fact, some weeds tend to grow at a very fast rate, and very soon, they’ll overtake your green grass. So, what do you do? Of course, get rid of the weed. But how do you do that without affecting your grass?
Ask your friend or neighbour next door, and they’ll tell you to use chemicals to kill the weed. But is this the right way to go about it? Absolutely not!
Well, to cut a long story short, this article contains a simple guide to help you get rid of a lawn full of weeds and get that stunning look of your garden back.
Start by Identifying the Type of Weed
There are different types of weeds invading your beautiful garden, and you have to get rid of them. But before destroying the weed, you need to understand what types you have in your lawn and the best way to get rid of them.
Weeds are divided into three different categories, and each of them has specific treatments that work. The three categories include grass-like weed, grassy weed, and broadleaf weed. Here is a breakdown of each of them.
Related: 16 Weeds That Look Like Grass
Grassy is another famous weed that can easily confuse you for grass. The weed grows one leaf at a time, just like grass. Examples of these weeds include crabgrass, foxtails, annual bluegrass, and quackgrass.
These also take the same appearance as grass with their leaves hollow and taking either triangular or tube shape. Examples of these weeds include wild garlic, wild onion, and nutsedge. You should consider remove leaves from a lawn to avoid moss
How to Treat these Weeds
Now that you know the type of weeds in your garden, you need to adopt proper ways of killing them. One rule of thumb here is to start with broadleaf weed as they are the easiest to identify and kill.
Their herbicides are easily available and affordable. The herbicide also has the potential to get rid of more weed types than any other. A single application of this herbicide might not kill the entire weed, but you should see better results in two weeks.
Once you make your first application, consider the second after two weeks to kill the weeds that remained behind and other types that were completely unaffected. Other weeds can be killed by simply pulling and digging them off. Of course, this method only works if the weed is not too widespread. Some weeds may also require specialized care, such as purchasing specific types of herbicide.
1. Understand How the Weeds Occur
The recurring weed problem affects many people because they don’t understand how these weeds come about and probably have no idea about their seasons. Well, some weeds are seasonal, while others occur all year long.
If you don’t understand this, even if you get rid of your weed-infested garden, it will still come back to haunt you. But sometimes the problem may not be the weeds occurrence period but your failure to maintain the lawn. Here are some weed occurrence reasons related to the season and mode.
These weeds are seasonal, and you’ll only come across their type one particular season. They only appear on your lawn once a year, making them easy to get rid of. These weeds include crabgrass, switchgrass, crabgrass, ragweed, pigweeds, carpetweed, foxtail, etc.
Being that they only occur during particular seasons once in a year, these weeds will not last long. Still, you should never ignore them because they interfere with your lawn’s aesthetics and can destroy it completely. To get rid of these weeds, you should identify the times of the year when they flourish, such as winter, and kill the seeds before they spread.
These types of weeds flourish during two consecutive seasons back-to-back. The weeds can last up to two years on your lawn and can be such a nuisance if not handled. One way to get rid of them is to kill them before they lay seeds, which usually spread very fast.
These weeds don’t take much to kill if you know how to handle them. They usually die after they flower and spread seeds. These weeds include the moth mullein, evening primrose, clover, pokeweed, wild violet, burdock, etc.
This is one of the most stubborn weed as it grows all through seasons and produces seeds for a long time. The weed has well-established roots that can overcome the winter weather and flourish again in fall. They are the most common weeds in lawns and very annoying. Getting rid of these weeds from your lawn can be the hardest, but if you manage to do it, you won’t have to deal with them for the longest time.
Perennial weeds include red sorrel, quack grass, hedge bindweed, nutsedge, cully docks, ground ivy, etc. These are weeds you’ll not get rid of by pulling off the ground as they have large taproots. You need to dig deeper into the soil to destroy the roots completely. You can also use herbicides to prevent them from spreading their seeds and flourishing.
2. Understand the State of Your Garden
Now that you understand the types of weeds, and when they occur, you also need to know how much destruction the weeds have cost. This is where you describe the state of your garden to help you understand better how to deal with weed causing commotion in your beautiful lawn. Here is how you can describe your lawn.
The Density of the Grass
The grass density can help you understand the extent to which the weed has spread in your garden. Many people wait until there is too much weed overgrowth before identifying that there is a problem somewhere. If you’re one of those people, you’re going to have a very dense lawn out there that needs proper strategies to restore. One sign of a dense lawn includes dirt patches in certain areas. Your lawn displaying different densities also means it needs some mowing and getting rid of the weed.
Do You Have Thatch?
A perfect indication of a thatched grass involves having layers of grassroots and dead stuff on the soil surface. You need this grass to provide organic to the soil and protect the roots from the scorching sun. When it comes to weed prevention, the thatch can help slow down the germination of seeds from weeds.
But too much thatch isn’t healthy for your lawn because too thick means chocking your grass. They also prevent your lawn from getting enough water. Sometimes thatches appear in winter, and when the weeds start to die, and their copses remain behind to form the thatches. The appearance of these thatches is an excellent indication that your lawn needs some serious reworking.
The Depth of the Grassroots
Sometimes weed can prevent the roots of your grass from reaching the soil and benefiting from the nutrients below it. As a result, your grass may look week and have shallow roots. Weeds can spread around this grass, killing it even further.
How far has your weed spread in the garden? You need to answer this question before thinking about restoring your lawn. If the weeds cover 50% of the entire lawn, you’re up for one of the biggest fights. Know the type of weed you have there and figure out the right way to deal with it without affecting your grass.
3. Decide Whether to Use the Natural of Chemical Treatment Methods
The chemical treatment way seems quicker and faster hence many people run for them to restore their lawn. Well, chemicals can work for you or against you depending on how you use them. Chemicals can affect the soil, the air, and the water killing everything on its way. They may destroy your environment completely, making it hard for a lawn to thrive. You’re not going for an option that could potentially kill the grass along with the weed and destroy your chances of ever having a beautiful lawn by destroying the soil.
Now that leaves you with a clear answer. You need to go the natural way to clear weed from your lawn even though this method will take longer. There are various ways to care for a lawn the natural way. You don’t have to go to the shop as you can make yourself a solution right at home. One of the most common solutions is vinegar, dishwashing liquid, and soap.
When making this solution, ensure you use a strong vinegar amount since it’s the main ingredient here. Vinegar has been known for a long time as a natural weed killer. Put your solution into a sprayer and sprinkle directly into weeds. When sprayed around the weed that you’ll like to kill, it destroys it completely, and weed issues in your lawn will be a thing of the past.
4. Understand the Perfect Time to Do It
One way to succeed in your weed killing endeavour is to identify the perfect time to do it. There are seasons like winter when your weed has spread their seeds around, waiting for spring to finally flourish. Getting rid of the weed during this season will not do you anything.
The best time to start killing these stubborn plants is summer. This is the period where weeds grow the most but are yet to spread their seeds. If you see spouts, it will be a perfect indication that you need to get them out of your garden. Get those grass-friendly herbicide options in the market or use any other effective methods to kill the weeds now before things get out of hand.
Picking the right season is, therefore, essential to ensuring your weed destruction mission pulls out successfully. If you live in hot areas, you might consider getting rid of the weeds as soon as it starts raining.
5. Mow Your Lawn
One reason that encourages the growth of weed in your lawn is a failure to take proper care of your lawn. But even when the damage is done, it’s never too late because mowing and cleaning your lawn is one of the ways to kill the weeds. To do this, you should start by cleaning the yard using a small hand shovel. This process will help tear off some weed off the ground.
Once you’re done with the cleaning, mowing the plants is the next step to take. There are different types of mowers that can help with these, including electric and self-propelled lawnmowers. To get the best out of it, you should pay attention to the setting as the highest will help thick, tall, and vigorous grass.
Once you’re done with the mowing, make sure you rake the grass one more time to don’t leave the weeds lying on the grass, forming thatches. Do this slowly and steadily to avoid causing any destruction to your beautiful looking garden. Do the raking in a perfect way and remove anything apart from your precious grass and the soil that supports it.
6. Consider Using a Good Herbicide
The natural ways of killing weed from your lawn might not work, especially if you have very dense weed out there. Well, all hope is not lost yet because herbicides can still come to your aid and do a wonderful job. Buy an herbicide depending on the type of weed you have in your lawn.
Herbicides can be divided into pre-emergent which kill weeds before they start flourishing, and post-emergent that kill more established weeds. One thing to remember is that herbicides might not just clear weed but anything else that they come across. Well, now that you plan to get rid of your lawn and start afresh, it won’t be bad at all. But if you don’t intend to do this, then don’t even trust the labels when using herbicides.
Herbicides should be your last resort if everything, including uprooting, fertilizing, and watering doesn’t help. Also, make sure you understand how to use the given herbicides as some are made to work on a specific period while others work under defined temperature ranges. Make sure you follow instructions carefully on a particular herbicide used, so nothing goes wrong.
7. Adding Topsoil Can Help a Lot
Your lawn has already endured a lot with digging, raking, and using herbicides, and topsoil will be beneficial to restore its health. If you have some dirt patches lying around, this will be the perfect place to add topsoil.
Topsoil works wonders to restore the fertility of your land after it has gone through a lot of pressure. It will be easy for you to add some grass with fertile land and prevent weed from causing any further destruction. Make sure you come up with the most fertile topsoil possible to make it more effective.
8. Aerate the Soil
Once you’ve added some topsoil, it’s now time to aerate the soil. An aerator will help you do the magic here on taking soil from the bottom to the top. The main idea here is to help the soil become more fertile ready to accommodate healthy grass. Use your aerator in places that you add topsoil and areas with just grass.
This might kill your plants at first, but it will leave behind a stronger bed that encourages the growth of more healthy plants and discourage the growth of weeds. With a perfectly aerated soil, you can be sure that the water goes more in-depth, fastening the fertilization process, and encouraging faster growth of plants.
9. Plant New Grass Seeds
It’s always not a bad idea to start afresh after getting rid of your lawn full of weeds. Planting new grass seeds free from weeds is a perfect way to give your lawn a brand new look that you’ll feel proud to look at. Before you start, you should take your time to choose the right type of seed for your lawn. The seed to use will consider things such as the area where you live. If you live in areas that experience less rain, consider drought-resistant seeds.
To make sure this doesn’t go wrong, prepare the soil first using a power rake to lift the thatch, break the aerator plugs, and loosen the soil. Make sure nothing is preventing your seeds from touching the ground and germinating perfectly.
To ensure the seeds spread perfectly and cover the largest area, you can use a broadcast spreader to do it. Broadcast spreaders will distribute the seeds evenly to cover the largest area. A drop spreader will ensure the seeds don’t drop in the edges of your garden beds.
Make sure the seeds spread in all directions and give out a nice coverage. You must ensure the entire lawn receives the same amount of seed so that it comes out evenly. Also, make sure you apply the right amount of seeds. Fifteen seeds per inch will work perfectly for your garden. Once you’re done with the planting, you can rake the soil again steadily to see that the seeds spread even further and bury the ones that end up on the surface.
10. Water Your Soil
Water is health to humans, animals, and plants. Once you’ve planted new grass and aerated the perfect way, do not forget to maintain regular watering. Doing this twice per week is the perfect way to go about it. The perfect time to water your plants is in the morning hours before the scorching summer sun catches up with you.
Predicting the amount of water your yard will need depends on the type of grass you have there and the climate of your region. You can test if your soil needs more water or not using a screwdriver. Push the screwdriver deep into the soil to see how moist the ground down there is. If your screwdriver comes out with greying or rolling blades, then your soil still needs more water. Make sure you have a good lawn sprinkler to cover the largest area when watering.
Read also: Lawn sprinkler system cost
11. Fertilize the Grass
Now that you have your new grass in place, ready to grow and restore your once so beautiful looking lawn, you need to add some fertilizer on the new grass to encourage healthy growth and kill the weeds in the process. The best fertilizer that will work well for you in this situation is potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus.
Before adding phosphorus, check with your state rules because some states discourage using this fertilizer as it causes water pollution. Consider applying your fertilizers mid-spring or summer seasons if your grass is warm-season type. If you have cool-season types of grasses, consider adding the fertilizers during summer or early fall. Perfect timing for your fertilization ensures the grass gets the necessary nutrients for its perfect growth.
Now that you see the type of work it takes to restore your beautiful grass after weed destruction, you wouldn’t want this to happen again. Regular lawn maintenance is, therefore, paramount to maintain its beauty and control weed. You need to give your grass time to grow and after that, ensure regular maintenance so that you don’t go back to where it all started.
Well, regular lawn maintenance can be daunting, especially if you’re a busy person but finding time for it once in a while is worth the effort. Consider investing in seasonal treatment so that your lawn stays weed-free.