Most homeowners want a beautiful lawn. With that, it means taking a stance against weeds. However, lawn weeds are opportunists, so they take root wherever there is a bit of space.
If you know that you have a weed problem, you may not know what to do. They keep popping up everywhere on the lawn, which is aggravating. Some people may try to kill them with chemicals, only to damage the grass, too.
It’s important to know what weeds you’re dealing with first. That way, you learn how to kill them effectively. If you go with the chemical route, you can choose the right products to eradicate the weeds and keep the grass safe.
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Some Ways to Get Rid of Weeds Without Killing Your Grass
For those who are ready to fight back against weeds, we’re going to tell you exactly how to do it. This way, you can get rid of those unsightly plants growing in the lawn.
Read Your Weeds
Sometimes, weeds growing in a spot are a clue that there are problems with the soil or site. If you can correct those issues, the landscape is going to flourish. This ultimately discourages weeds from growing in and around the lawn grass.
For example, your ground ivy is going to grow best in soil that stays moist or damp. It can also thrive in areas that might be too shady for grass. Therefore, you can eradicate this weed by improving the soil drainage of the lawn.
To do that, you can aerate the soil by removing small sections of it. That should prevent ground ivy from becoming a significant problem in the future. Plus, you can remove tree branches in those shady areas so that more sunlight reaches the soil.
If you want a healthy lawn, you know that you have to mow and water properly. This is going to keep weeds from ever sprouting. Still, you need to get rid of the weeds you already have and can do this by hand.
Hand-weeding is the best defense possible for small lawns or specific areas of weed growth. If you don’t have an overwhelming number of weeds, this is the most effective option against those annual broadleaf weeds.
It’s best if you can pull them while they’re young. This means they haven’t seeded and flowered yet. Plus, it’s the easiest way to prevent those weeds from spreading to other parts of the lawn.
However, it’s crucial that you catch perennial weeds as early as possible. For example, dandelions can develop deep taproots when they mature. This makes them so much harder to pull out.
You’ve got to yank out the entire plant, which includes the root and any root pieces. Otherwise, new plants can grow. If there are new sprouts that grow, you’ve got to repeatedly pull them so that you can starve the weed and ultimately kill it.
Generally, it is easier to weed when the soil is damp or moist. You can find tools like a dandelion digger to help you get to the root. It probes deeper into the soil.
When the weed is gone, you must quickly reseed that bare spot. That way, new weeds can’t fill in space instead of new grass.
Steps for Pulling Weeds Permanently
Pull perennial weeds (dandelions) when they’re young. After it rains and the soil is moist, push your sharp spade into the soil. Angle it downward toward the center of your weed to loosen the surrounding soil.
Now, you can use the tool to pry your weed upward. Pull it at the same time, but do so gently. That way, the roots don’t break off.
When the weed and its roots are out, you can smooth out the soil. Add some compost and patch it with some lawn seed. Make sure the soil stays moist until your grass is about 1 inch tall.
Get Rid of Paving Weeds
You can buy a weeder to help you remove grass and weeds from the paving stones in your walkway or patio. These are L-shaped blades made of stainless steel. They fit between the pavers and bricks to reach those pesky plants and scrape them away.
Use a Scuffle Hoe
Sometimes, the scuffle hoe is called an action or oscillating hoe. It gets the name from the double-edged and hinged blade rocking back and forth. This creates a push-pull motion.
As the blade rocks, it slices the weeds at their crowns. You’ve got to do this repeatedly to deplete the roots from its food so that it dies. Since you’re cutting shallowly, the weed seeds don’t come to the surface and sprout.
There are gas-powered flamers out there that can kill the weeds by heating them so that the cell walls pop. One pass with the flamer can kill those young annual weeds. They don’t look charred, but they’re going to die within hours.
You’ve got to be careful that you don’t burn the grass, though. This tool works best when the weeds grow along the sides of the lawn. It’s also possible to use it, kill some of the grass, and reseed the entire area.
Make sure that the area isn’t dry or in a fire-prone spot. You may want to water the ground lightly to ensure that you don’t start a fire. Also, keep the flamer away from flammable mulch.
Most people make herbicides their go-to option, but we recommend using them as a last resort. If your lawn gets overrun with weeds, chemicals might be best. You may also have issues with a particular type of weed and can use herbicides.
Make sure that you follow the directions carefully. Otherwise, herbicides can kill the grass and the plants you want to keep.
Choose herbicides that are labeled safe for your grass and that are effective against the weed you’re fighting. The label must show what conditions to use it in and when. Some are only designed to work at specific temperatures, while others work at particular times during the season.
There are three types of herbicides. Let’s learn about them all:
A preemergence herbicide kills the seedlings before they can come through the soil. Primarily, this chemical option targets crabgrass. Typically, these herbicides are man-made or synthetic.
You can find natural and non-toxic versions that are made of corn gluten. They’re typically safer for the ground and the grass. However, you may have to use them for numerous seasons before their effects are fully noticed.
Postemergence herbicides are designed to kill current weeds that are growing actively right then. They come as systemic or contact forms.
With a contact herbicide, it only kills the plant parts that it touches. They act quickly and are best used against those annual weeds.
Systemic herbicides make contact with the outside of the plant but work inside to kill the roots. They’re much more effective than contact chemicals on perennials. However, you may need to repeat the treatment more than once.
You’ve also got to pick between nonselective and selective systemic herbicides. Selective ones can only kill certain weeds, and nonselective varieties kill anything green and growing. Since you don’t want to kill your grass, nonselective systemic herbicides might not be best.
With weed-and-feed products, it contains a herbicide and fertilizer to do two things at once. However, the time savings promised could backfire if the weed control timing and fertilizing times don’t coincide. You can also give your plants an overdose of herbicide if you use it again to fertilize later in the season.
The safest option for weed-and-feed products is to choose organic ones made with corn gluten. Regardless, though, you need to follow directions. Make sure you’re addressing the reason for having weeds while killing them and preventing regrowth.
It’s also best to reseed those bare spots left so that new weeds don’t pop up. This is a never-ending war when it comes to weeds.
Learning how to get rid of weeds without killing grass is essential. That way, you can remove the intrusions and still have a beautiful and healthy lawn.
There are many ways to eradicate weeds. The option you choose is based on various factors. Sometimes, you might have to utilize more than one method.
It can take some work and diligence, but in the end, you are going to have a healthier lawn. Once you remove all the weeds, it’s much easier to keep them from growing back. Then, the next growing season, you have the tools and knowledge to protect your lawn and grass from unsightly weed growth.