A dense, green, uniform carpet of grass is pleasing to the eye. But weeds quickly creep into the lawn and crowd out the grass. Dandelions, daisies, clover, and plantain species enjoy the freshly watered and fertilized soil. They take root, spread their seeds, and within just a few weeks the lawn is overgrown.
But what’s the best way to fight weeds in the lawn? There are several ways to get rid of weeds sustainably and prevent them properly. We’ll tell you how to get your lawn weed-free again as quickly as possible, and how to keep it that way.
Weeds in the lawn
Lawn weeds are plants that can grow alongside lawn grasses in the lawn. However, to the weeds are counted almost 1000 different species of plants.
Weeds in the lawn grow when the lawn is not properly maintained. The most common cause of weeds in the lawn is a lack of nutrients, but drought can also cause the weeds to sprout.
Weeds in the lawn are a nuisance to many gardeners because they spread quickly, crowd out the turfgrass, and can make the lawn look unkempt. Not only does this look unsightly, but it also decreases the value of the lawn. Weeds in the lawn can be controlled in a variety of ways. Depending on the severity of the infestation and the types of weeds, different methods are available.
If you take proper care of your lawn from the beginning, you will have few problems with weeds. Still, weeds are not completely preventable. If you notice weeds in your lawn, you should remove them as soon as possible. Once weeds have taken root, they can be difficult to remove completely.
Why do weeds grow in the lawn?
Weeds in the lawn can have several causes. The most common causes are:
- Lack of nutrients due to incorrect fertilizing
- wrong watering
- bad seed
- wrong cutting height
Despite careful maintenance, weeds can grow in places on the lawn. This cannot be completely avoided because the seeds of the plants are transported by wind and insects and germinate when conditions are favorable.
Careful lawn care can prevent and contain weeds, but not completely prevent them.
Ways to get rid of weeds in your lawn
Lack of nutrients in the lawn soil
Lawn grass needs more nutrients than lawn weeds. As a result, the lawn grass is weakened and voids are created in the lawn carpet for the weeds to sprout. Gradually, the weeds take over and drive out the lawn grass.
Clover is a type of plant that thrives despite nutrient-poor soil. It can be a sign of nutrient deficiency. This plant spreads especially quickly when other plant species are weakened by insufficient nutrients.
Against nutrient deficiency can help, for example, lawn fertilizer.
Incorrect watering and drought
Most lawn grasses are susceptible to drought, so a lawn needs to be watered regularly. Especially in the summer, when the grass is exposed to strong sun and high temperatures, it should be given enough water.
Weeds, on the other hand, are quite a bit more resistant to heat and drought and will take advantage of the opportunity to spread and crowd out the grass. Weeds also recover more quickly when the lawn is parched and re-watered.
It may happen that the original seed is already contaminated with seeds of weeds. In this case, the weeds grow with the lawn grass and are not supplied “from the outside”.
A bad seed is often a cheap seed. When larger areas are to be planted, some gardeners save and resort to cheaper seeds. However, the consequences show up very soon when the weeds sprout.
Wrong cutting height
The wrong cutting height can also encourage weed growth. Generally, at least 1.6″ is the best height for a garden lawn. At this height and above, the grass blades cast enough shade to suppress weed seedlings.
Although mowing height is not the main cause of weeds, paying attention to length and mowing regularly can help prevent weeds.
How do I identify the weeds in my lawn?
If you are unfamiliar with a weed on your lawn and want to identify it, it’s best to reach for a plant encyclopedia. Plants are identified by their flowers, leaves, stems, and roots. Many plants, by the way, are indicators of prevailing soil and site conditions. Clover, for example, thrives particularly well in nutrient-poor soil, while moss is an indicator of too much moisture.
Why should I remove weeds on the lawn?
There are several reasons why weeds in the lawn should be removed. Basically, it depends on you, how you want your lawn to look or what regulations are imposed on you regarding lawn care.
The most important reason to control weeds in your lawn is that they spread very quickly. Weeds are often more resistant than lawn grasses and will quickly crowd out the grass if you don’t take immediate action.
If you do weed removal is part of lawn care because it protects the lawn grass from “invaders”. So you should definitely include weed removal in your lawn care routine and protect your lawn from uncontrollably growing weeds.
What to do about weeds in the lawn: Effective remedies against weeds
If you find weeds in your lawn, it’s no reason to panic. After all, removing weeds is not difficult, and there are a number of effective ways you can make your lawn look beautiful and uniform again. However, quick action is required because weeds spread quickly and can crowd out lawn grass in just a few weeks. As soon as you notice weeds, and they start to bother you, you should think about removing them. In the following section, we would like to introduce you to various means of getting rid of weeds easily and in the long run.
Weeding the lawn mechanically
When weeds sprout in the lawn, you can weed them mechanically or manually. To do this, you can either remove the weeds from the ground with your own hands or with a weeder, including the roots, or use equipment such as a scarified.
Removing weeds with a weed cutter
A weed trowel is a type of spade that can be used to effectively remove weeds such as dandelions that take deep roots from the soil. There are different models of weeders, which differ mainly in their complexity.
The simplest weed cutters are very similar to a spade and require more force when used, as they must be manually pushed into the ground. More sophisticated models, on the contrary, are equipped with special scissors or cutters that easily penetrate the soil and remove the plant, including the root.
Removing weeds with a scarifier
A scarifier is a special device that removes weeds with the help of its blades. This way, tundra, moss, and other weed species can be combed out. Before you scarify the lawn, you should cut it to about 0.8″ growth height. When you have finished scarifying the lawn, dispose of the weeds. If there are large gaps in the lawn carpet, you can replant the grass. After 1-2 weeks, the lawn should be fertilized.
By the way, the scarifier is not only an effective tool for removing weeds, but also ventilating the lawn. This should be done regularly, because so the lawn carpet grows back more beautiful, fuller and greener.
Chemically kill weeds in the lawn
You can control weeds chemically using weed killers or fertilizers. Chemicals against weeds can pollute the environment and should be used sparingly. For heavy infestations and when mechanical methods are not effective, chemical weed killers are often the solution.
What are chemical weed killers?
Chemical weed killers are lawn herbicides that consist of man-made plant hormones. Their action is to cause uncontrolled rapid growth on two-seeded plants, which includes most weeds, eventually causing the plants to die.
After four to six weeks, the weeds should be dead. Normal lawn grass is single-seeded and is not affected by hormones. A chemical weed killer should be used with caution and preferably only when mechanical or manual means have not been effective. The best effect is achieved when the lawn is properly prepared for treatment.
Here’s how to use weed killer correctly and get the best possible results:
- The timing
Weedkillers should ideally be used on a warm afternoon. There should be no night frost and or rain. The lawn should be dry when using the weed killer, but the soil should not be parched. It is advisable to water the lawn the day before.
- The preparation
The lawn should not be mowed too short, because the plant hormones are absorbed mainly through the leaves. If the soil is low in nutrients, fertilize the lawn about two weeks before applying the herbicide.
- The application
The best way to apply the weed killer is with a watering can. Pay close attention to the directions for use of your product. As a rule, only the heavily infested areas should be treated to use as little herbicide as possible.
Weed killers usually do not harm the lawn grass, but you should make sure that you rinse the watering can well after application before using it for normal watering.
You should also avoid getting drops or spray of the herbicide on other plants, such as garden flowers because they can be harmed by the product. The weeds should be killed after four to six weeks. You can reseed the resulting voids with fresh seed before weeds reestablish themselves.
Fertilizer with weed remover
Another option for chemical weed control is a combination product of lawn fertilizer and weed remover. This fertilizer is spread on the lawn and is said to be beneficial to the grass while killing the weeds. Such fertilizers often do not deliver what they promise. The concentration and application method is often insufficient to effectively kill the weeds, but they can be contained. This granular fertilizer with weed eliminator should be applied when the lawn is moist. This allows the chemicals to stick to the leaves and work better.
Trivia: What else you should know about weeds in your lawn
How can I prevent weeds?
If you prevent weeds, you don’t have to control them. There are several ways you can prevent weeds. We would like to present them now:
- Use high-quality seed
If you plant your lawn with high-quality seeds, the lawn will grow quickly and, above all, densely, which leaves no room for weeds. There is also less chance that the seed will be contaminated with weed seeds.
- Regular and proper lawn care
Drought or lack of nutrients will harm the lawn grass and encourage weeds to grow. When lawns are properly maintained, weeds have virtually no chance.
- Fertilizer with weed killer
This product is not the most effective for severe weed infestations, but it can prevent weeds and stop them from spreading if used properly. Note that herbicides can harm the environment and should be used sparingly.
- Act quickly
If you notice weeds in your lawn, remove them as soon as possible. Once weeds have taken root, they spread very quickly.
Can Lime on Your Lawn Get Rid of Weeds? – Video
FAQ - Weeds in the lawn
Be sure you pull up weeds by their roots and don’t just yank out the leaves. They can re-grow if even small pieces of their roots remain. … But most weeds are aggressive and invasive and left unchecked, they’ll crowd out desirable plants.
Digging up weeds removes the entire weed, roots and all, from the ground. The best way to dig up weeds is to wait until after a rain when the soil is still wet and soft enough to pull the weeds out.
For larger areas, like pastures, turning vegetation into the soil with a disk harrow can effectively eliminate some brushy weeds. You can achieve the same results in smaller spaces using a rototiller. For dense vegetation, use a rotary mower (brush hog) to cut plants before turning soil.