Getting Rid of Lawn Weeds

Getting rid of lawn weeds is a never ending battle for most homeowners and lawn companies.

What is a Weed?

A weed is any plant growing out of place, where it is not desired. Most weeds possess a vigorous capacity for growth and survival under adverse conditions.

Sources of Weeds

Most lawn weeds result from seeds deposited in the soil long ago. Some seeds may remain inactive for 50 years or more, then spring to life under the proper conditions of warmth, light, and moisture. These weeds generally germinate and mature when the soil is cultivated, or when bare spots develop.

Topsoils, manures, and compost usually contain an abundance of weed seeds. A new crop of weeds can be expected whenever these additives are used.

Weed seeds can be transported from place to place by many methods. Dandelion seeds can be carried many miles by the wind. The sticky seeds of Buckhorn and Plaintain are transported by clothing and animals. When the Oxalis weed is disturbed, its ripe seedpods explode and throw their seeds many feet. Thus, bare spots, or thin turf offer a continuous source of weed infestation.

Most Common Weeds

You don't need to be a botanist to be able to classify and identify which weeds are in your lawn. The most important distinction is between broadleaf and grassy-type weeds. This is important for determining the timing for control and which herbicide to use.

Common broadleaf weeds include the dandelion, plantain, clover, chickweed, buckthorn, dichondra, ground ivy, oxalis, knotweed, purslane, and prostate spurge.

Most grassy looking weeds are either crabgrass, nutgrass, goose grass, dallies grass, or annual bluegrass

Getting Rid of Lawn Weeds

There are four general methods of weed control---cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical.

  1. Cultural control involves proper lawn maintenance. This includes mowing high and frequently, fertilizing at the correct times of year, watering your lawn deeply and infrequently, using grass seed suitable for your area, and reseeding your lawn every fall.
  2. Mechanical control is the manual destruction of weeds. Weeds can be pulled out by hand or with a tool that reaches down deep to remove the root as well. Unless you only have a few weeds to pull out, I do NOT recommend this method. It is too labor intensive.
  3. Biological control is the use of natural enemies of weeds. Insects and other small animals that eat certain weeds may be used. Bacteria and other tiny organisms can be used to spread disease among specific weeds. Sometimes a certain amount of watering can be an enemy to weeds.
  4. Chemical control is the most effective method of getting rid of lawn weeds. Herbicides can be either selective or non-selective. Selective herbicides kill the weeds, but not the grass. Non-selective herbicides kill all plants which is perfect for spraying patios, walkways, gravel driveways, sidewalks, and very carefully in plant beds.

Most landscapers and homeowners use a combination of cultural and chemical weed control to achieve their desired lawn.

Weeds are persistent. If you get tired of battling weeds or don’t want to be exposed to pesticides, have a local lawn treatment company take care of it. I like how you can sign up online for a free estimate.

Return from Getting Rid of Lawn Weeds to Home Page.