Kill those Weeds: Tips on Preventing Lawn Weeds from Taking Over
Lawn weeds can turn a lovely lawn into an ugly lawn in a hurry. The best way to deal with them is to stop them before they start. Fortunately, the right lawn care can go a long way toward preventing weeds. A thick, healthy lawn makes it hard for lawn weeds to get a foothold, so choose a grass type that can thrive in your yard’s environment. Next, don’t mow your lawn grass too short. Taller grass makes it hard for weeds to get the sunlight they need to grow. Pay attention to problem areas. If your lawn is spotty in parts, take steps to deal with the problem. Fertilize, reseed, try a different grass type, or do whatever else is necessary to keep your lawn lush.
If preventive practices have failed you and lawn weeds are already ravaging your yard, don’t despair. Hand weeding is a good first option, but after that, herbicides can work wonders.
Crabgrass and goosegrass are common annual weeds (annual means they die each year and have to regrow from seeds). In the spring, pre-emergent herbicides can kill the crabgrass and goosegrass lawn weeds once the seeds have germinated but before they have matured.
In the summer, post-emergence herbicides can treat the weeds before they have sent out shoots. Following that, non-selective herbicides (meaning they kill all plants) sprayed right on the weeds are the best option.
Perennial broadleaf weeds like dandelions are also common lawn weeds. They grow back from their roots each year, which can make them particularly hard to get rid of. Spraying them with a post-emergence herbicide in the late summer or fall can deal with them very effectively. If you apply herbicide as the weather cools, the dandelions will carry the poison to their roots along with nutrients they are storing for the winter.