Proper maintenance is critical if you want your newly established lawn to stay weed-free. Mow at either the highest or second-highest setting. Vigorous grass won’t be choked out by weeds. Fertilize your lawn as needed to help it thrive.
Once your lawn is nice and green, we recommend hiring a professional lawn care company to help you maintain it to keep it weed-free. Our top recommendation goes to industry leader TruGreen.
Next, it’s time to select the proper weed treatment based on both weed classification and the stage in their life cycle. Pre-emergent herbicides tackle weed issues before they spring up. Post-emergent herbicides target established weeds.
Weeds can be broken down further into categories based on their life cycle—annual, biennial, or perennial.
Step 9: Water Your Lawn
Read our handy guide on how to restore a weedy, patchy lawn to its former glory.
Starting out, you probably want to know just why weeds have overtaken your grass, so you can prevent it from happening again.
If your lawn is patchy and full of weeds, it will never be the envy of the neighborhood. What you’re after is a lush, green lawn with even grass and no dandelions poking their way through. That may sound hard to achieve, but it isn’t too difficult if you follow these steps.
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Depending on the type of weed treatment you choose, you may need to wait for up to four weeks. You can ask your local garden center for information about when it’s safe to plant.
Now, you can apply your soil amendment to ready your soil for the grass seed or sod.
Eradication of weeds is not a realistic or necessary goal. Some weeds develop even in a well-cared-for lawn. Healthy grass in fertile soil discourages weed growth. Hand weeding throughout the year may be all that is necessary when good management techniques are practiced. Hand weeding is especially useful to prevent the spread of sedges, dandelion, spurge, creeping wood sorrel, dallies-grass and Bermuda grass. Remove the weeds when they are young before they spread, grow seed or develop rhizomes. A dandelion fork or fishtail weeder is useful for removing weeds with a thick taproot.
You can reduce weed growth in lawns significantly by following good management practices and understanding weed growth patterns. Improper fertilization, irrigation or mowing practices make it easy for weeds to invade even an established lawn. Identify the type of weeds plaguing your yard before beginning a control program.
Annual grassy weeds such as bluegrass, crabgrass and goose grass grow, produce seed and die within one season. They return the following year if this cycle is not interrupted. Grassy weed seeds fall from the plant in autumn and germinate in spring when the soil temperature is between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Conditions that cause the growth of annual grassy weeds are overwatering or light, frequent watering, a mower blade set too low or compacted soil. Grassy weeds take hold in lawns that are mowed to a height of less than 2 inches.
Bermuda grass and dallis-grass are perennial grass weeds which establish themselves in lawns that are mowed too closely, are overwatered, have compacted soil or are subject to excess heat and sun. Spurge grasses, knotweed, burclover and black medic are broadleaf weeds that grow in lawns with low nitrogen fertility, compacted soil or are closely mowed and have open areas. Annual and perennial sedges become established in lawns that are overwatered and have poor drainage. Excess sun and heat as well as nearby infestations also cause sedge growth.
Proper mowing, irrigation and fertilization practices prevent many weed problems. Mow every three to five days during growth periods to keep the lawn at a height of 2 ½ to 3 inches during the summer months. Leave clippings on the grass after mowing. Grass clippings provide about 20 percent of the fertilization needs of most grass types. Fertilizer needs vary according to grass species, but nitrogen is the nutrient most needed by all grass types. Organic compost fertilizers are applied once or twice yearly because they release nutrients slowly into the soil. Irrigate when the top 2 inches have dried out — or two to three times per week. Deep, infrequent watering discourages weed growth.
Annual Grassy Weeds
Wet/soaked portions of the lawn
Mow higher. Raise your mowing height. Although many homeowners love the look of a closely cropped lawn, mowing too low can lead to a thin turf structure and cause weeds to creep in seemingly overnight.
Areas where the lawn meets concrete (e.g. along driveway and sidewalk edges)