Weeds are one of the biggest threats to the growth of other plants. This is especially true for the grass on your lawn. Invasive weeds can take space away from grass, which prevents them from being able to grow. They also compete for nutrients, water, and sunlight. If weeds consume a certain amount, then very little will be left to aid the growth of grass. That is why it is important to weed a lawn.
Along with these characteristics, weeds can carry diseases that can kill neighboring plants. Similarly, some weeds can produce chemicals that are toxic to other crops. Since weeds spread at a fast pace, it can be difficult to eradicate them completely. It would be best if you always kept an eye out so that they can be eliminated before they can get out of control.
To weed a lawn, you should first be able to recognize the different types. Here are a few of the most common weeds and a brief description of the characteristics that set them apart from one another.
Dandelions are broadleaf perennials that have a deep taproot. This root can grow as deep as 10 inches underground. They will grow back even if a small amount of the root is left in the soil. It is spread by seeds that germinate and can grow up to 12 inches tall.
Much like dandelions, plantains are also broadleaf perennials. However, their roots are far more shallow. They are found in moist lawns but can thrive in a variety of conditions. If left undisturbed, it can grow 12 inches in width and 8 inches in height.
As its name suggests, crabgrass is a weed that resembles grass. It is an annual weed with flat and narrow leaves that can grow 20 inches wide. Crabgrass thrives in warm weather, and hundreds of seeds can spread during the summer months.
Oxalis (Wood Sorrel)
The oxalis is another broadleaf perennial with shallow yet extensive roots. They can grow in both the sun and the shade and may reach up to 20 inches in height. Sometimes it is mistaken for a clover, but it has heart-shaped leaves. In the spring and summer, the oxalis will bloom yellow flowers. Although they can thrive in both moist and dry lawns, they are often found in weak lawns that are not properly cared for.
Nutsedge is a perennial weed with grassy leaves. It has shallow roots and is spread by seeds and nutlets, which is an underground tube. They grow best during hot summer months and are often found in moist lawns with poor drainage systems.
This brief glimpse into different types of weeds shows that each can have a unique appearance and growth pattern. With this in mind, there is no single way to weed a lawn. There are a few methods that may work depending on the kind of weed in your lawn. But there are also a few things you can also do to prevent them from growing.
Planning Ahead: Get a Head Start Against Weeds
Pre-emergent products are used to eliminate weeds before they can be spotted with the naked eye. Using this on your lawn will give you an advantage against weeds and can get rid of them permanently. It requires a small amount of effort and will save the stress of having a lawn full of weeds.
Here are a few products that are available for purchase:
Timing is critical when using this method. If done too early, it can wear out before it reaches all the weeds. On the other hand, it will not work once weeds are showing. You will also not be able to grow new grass seeds if you choose to use pre-emergent products.
Since it is a chemical, some people may be against using it on the lawn. It is up to you to decide whether or not the pros outweigh the cons.
Adequate Care: Rinse, Fertilize, Repeat
Although some weeds can survive in a variety of conditions, most will not thrive in a well-cared-for lawn. That is why the key to preventing them is by maintaining your lawn and keeping it healthy. This means providing your grass with nutrients and watering it as needed.
Certain types of grass require more care and attention, so familiarize yourself with your lawn and understand what it needs. Water your grass deeply every few days for a longer period of time instead of every day for a few minutes. You will see better results if you improve your watering habits.
Make sure to fertilize your grass every so often and feed it with lawn food to ensure it has the right nutrients. This will aid the growth of your grass and keep it strong. The best time to fertilize your lawn is in the afternoon when the sun has cooled off. Doing so in hot and dry conditions can burn your grass.
For more tips on how to maintain your lawn, feel free to check out this article.
Aim Higher: Trim Your Grass – Don’t Chop
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is cutting your grass too short. This can harm your grass by preventing it from producing the necessary nutrients. Vulnerable grass enables weeds to grow.
Therefore, you should try to cut your grass higher. The average height ranges between 2 and 4 inches, but this may vary depending on the type of grass in your lawn.
Get Your Hands Dirty: Grab by the Roots
Believe it or not, you can weed a lawn by hand in some cases. If you have a small number of weeds in your lawn, you can pull them out by the root to get the job done.
This method works best with annual weeds that tend to have shallow roots. Out of the examples above, you may be more successful in doing this with nutsedge and oxalis. While it is possible to pull deep-rooted weeds by hand, they will most likely grow back because of the leftover roots.
Overall, there are a variety of steps you can take to rid your lawn of weeds. Getting to know your grass and the weeds that invade them will be important to find a solution. Weeds can be a big hassle and threat to your lawn, which is why it should be handled before it can become uncontrollable.
Frequently Asked Questions: How to Weed a Lawn
Which method works best to weed a lawn?
The answer may vary depending on what kind of grass you have on your lawn. But maintaining a healthy lawn is a great way to prevent weeds from growing, no matter the type of grass.
Does the type of weed change what kind of treatment I should use?
Yes, along with the number of weeds. Some weeds are more aggressive than others and will need more attention to get rid of.