Lawn care can be a profoundly calming activity that allows you to build up a great lawn of grass for all to admire.
Maintaining a great lawn, however, can be a challenge when your lawn is invaded by weeds. No one likes these pests!
The following article intends to equip you with the knowledge needed to combat this threat effectively.
What is Weed in Grass?
In lawn care, the term ‘weed’ does not refer to a single type of plant.
Rather, it refers to all those plants that grow and reproduce in areas where they are unwanted and cause detrimental harm to grass by siphoning nutrients and minerals.
There are many different types of weeds, but they all typically share a proclivity for rapid germination and spreading.
Weeds also have a tendency to produce extremely resilient spores that latch themselves deeply in the soil.
Pulling vs Spraying Weed -Which One is Better?
Physically grabbing and uprooting weeds, or spraying them with pesticides are the two most common ways people generally remove weeds.
If your lawn’s soil is relatively moist and wet – especially after rain – pulling is a practical solution since the weed will be much easier to remove.
Note that it is important to uproot weeds completely because, depending on the species, weeds will grow rapidly if any roots are allowed to remain in the ground.
Spraying is preferable when you have relatively dry soil. That’s because it’s not practical to pull weeds that are very deeply entrenched within dry soil. As a result you will probably not be able to remove the entire weed – from above and below the lawn .
Which one of these methods is preferable depends primarily on the condition of your soil and the extent of the weeded vegetation that needs to be removed.
How to Get Rid of Weeds in Grass
There are a number of different ways to remove weed from your lawn as we’ve explained above.
You can physically remove the undesirable vegetation yourself or use a number of different commercially available products for removing it:
Chemical fertilizers sometimes contain herbicides specifically developed for killing different varieties of weed.
If you already happen to plan on using fertilizer on your lawn, be sure to acquire the kind that contains common herbicides to also help with killing weeds.
2. Weed Control Products
Commercial weed-killing sprays are widely available and can be easily acquired through most stores.
These sprays contain chemicals that cause irreparable damage to weeds, making it easier for you to remove them afterward.
Do be careful on the type of herbicide spray that you use as it may contain chemicals harmful to other plants in your lawn.
3. Dealing with Small Weed Growth
If there are only a few weeds in your lawn, it would be advisable to simply pull them out, assuming that your soil is relatively moist that is.
If your soil is too dry, it might be preferable to use a few doses of a weed-killing spray and removing the remains of a weed by hand (wear gloves!).
4. Dealing with Large or Out of Control Weed Growth
If the weed growth in your lawn is extensive, it would be most desirable to use professional weed-removing products.
These include herbicide sprays or even household cleaners with acidic properties.
Pulling out individual weeds in a large weed growth can prove to be impractical.
How to Get Rid of Weeds in Grass Without Chemicals
If you’re not willing to use commercial herbicide products, you can use a number of common household cleaners and products for correcting your weed problem.
The exact product that you should use will depend on the kind of weed that you are dealing with as well as the way the nature of the infestation.
5. Spraying Citrus Juice
Citrus fruits such as lemons have a very potent juice that has a low ph. value which makes them highly acidic.
Spraying a bit of lemon juice on a weed will cause it to shrivel and die within a few days. Be extremely careful with how you spray it since lemon juice can kill other plants as well.
6. Using Boiling Water with Salt
Boil two cups of water and add one cup of common table salt to produce a very deadly mixture for killing weeds.
The salt will dehydrate the weeds, and cause them to lose their moisture while the boiling water will actually kill the plant and any seeds that they carry.
7. Applying White Vinegar
Vinegar is another common acidic substance that can be found in most homes which is extremely lethal to plants.
So vinegar is a relatively potent way to permanently kill any weeds it comes into contact with. Simply pour it over the weed growth to kill it.
8. Applying Baking Soda
Baking soda is most effective for use when you have weeds growing in small cracks and crevices in your patio, sidewalk, or driveway.
The sodium found within baking soda renders any crack or crevice inhospitable to weeds.
Proactive Weed Growth Prevention
While you may not have experienced any weed growth in your lawn just yet, it is always possible that your lawn could be infested in a short period of time.
Consequently, you should adopt a number of proactive measures to prevent this from happening.
9. Avoid Tilling the Soil
Firstly, avoid tilling or disturbing the soil of your lawn unnecessarily.
Weed seeds tend to be dispersed deep below ground, and they can survive for very long periods of time underground just waiting for the opportunity to be brought closer to the surface.
Not tilling your soil excessively can, therefore, be one of the most effective ways in preventing weed seeds from obtaining the conditions that they need to be able to germinate.
10. Use Pre-Emergent Herbicide
If you’re interested in taking a much stronger approach towards preventing possible weed growth, consider purchasing and applying a pre-emergent herbicide that will proactively kill any weed seeds in your lawn and prevent their growth.
Pre-emergent herbicides activate when they come into contact with water, so it is best to use them during spring.
11. Use Mulch
A more environmentally safe way to prevent weed growth is to apply a thick layer of mulch to your grass lawn or garden.
Mulch prevents weed growth since it is a very dense plant that will not allow weeds to gain access to the sunlight that they need to survive.
11a. Do Not Leave Empty Spots in Your Grass Lawn
Additionally, you can also avoid having a potential weed problem on your hands by not leaving any empty spots in your lawn which would prevent unwanted vegetation from having the room that it needs to grow.
Why Should You Remove Weed from Your Grass Lawn?
Undesirable weed growth can cause a number of problems for your lawn which range from cosmetic harm to soil damage.
Random weed growth in your lawn will terribly alter your lawn’s appearance.
Your lawn will go from being a perfectly straight ocean of grass into a veritable lake of grass peppered with small islands of undesired vegetation disrupting its flow.
Depending on the type of weed that infects your lawn, it could also result in soil damage for your lawn as some species of weed will install deep roots and siphon valuable nutrients in the soil.
Thus, depriving your grass of the resources that it requires in addition to disrupting the natural equilibrium of your lawn ecosystem.
Types of Weed in Grass and Lawns
There are a number of different types of weed that grow commonly in people’s lawns. They’re differentiated by the shape and color of the plant.
Broadleaf weed has large broad leaves that are also extremely flat, as opposed to the needle-like leaves of other types of weed.
Some common examples of broadleaf weeds include Dandelion, Chickweed, and Clover.
Broadleaf weed is the easiest to identify since it will often have large visible elements such as dandelion flowers.
Grassy weed, like its name suggests, consists of weed that looks like grass with thin flat leaves that resemble grass leaves.
Some of the most common types of grassy weed include crabgrass and foxtail. Grassy weed is especially common in grass lawns.
Grassy weed is the most difficult to identify out of the three types of weeds since it resembles actual grass the most.
Grass-like weed resembles grass in the sense that it consists of long thin leaves, the major difference between a grass-like weed and a grassy weed is that the latter is not flat like the former.
A few common examples of grass-like weed include wild onion and wild garlic. Grass-like weed is easier to identify than grassy weed but harder to identify than broadleaf weed.
Why is Timing Important for Fighting Weed?
Weeds grow like any other plants with seasonal periods of growth. So, it is best to remove weed as early as possible to avoid weed plants from competing with desirable plants as both will require the same nutrients and resources.
By killing off weed as early as possible, you will reduce the chances they will develop by as much as possible and maximize the growth of desirable vegetation.
Weed plants also share a common characteristic of rapid germination and development.
If you don’t act early, you might experience exponential growth in weed vegetation in your lawn within a relatively short period of time.
Not only will the rapid proliferation of weed become much harder to eradicate after it has already been given the chance to flourish, but you will also experience a sharp decrease in the vitality of your grass lawn.
So your lawn grass will be unable to compete with weeds for resources essential to its survival.
Working towards weed removal too late result in much damage being inflicted to your lawn.
You’ll also find that it will require a lot more time and effort to correct than if you had just acted proactively and prevented weed growth when it was at its lowest.
Overall, this makes timing an extremely important factor with respect to combating weed as neglecting your garden for even a short period of time can result in extensive weed growth.
Tips for Fighting Weed Growth in Your Lawn
Here are a few additional tips to help you with combating invasive species in your lawn.
Use Tools to Help You
A common digging hoe or a shovel will make it a lot easier for you to remove most forms of common weed in your grass.
The great advantage of using either tool is that it will prevent you from having to get your hands too dirty from pulling out the unwanted vegetation.
Accurately Spray Without Damaging Desirable Plants
Herbicide sprays are extremely lethal which makes them very effective in killing unwanted vegetation.
This is extremely desirable since, after all, you want to get rid of weeds in your lawn.
However, due to their effectiveness, if you’re not careful with how you use them, you may end up causing damage to the desirable grass as well.
It is always extremely important to be very careful with using herbicide sprays as they have the potential to cause mass damage to your lawn if handled improperly.
Dealing with Accidental Herbicide Spray on Desirable Plants
If it happens that you accidentally spray some herbicide on an unintended plant or grass, there is no need to panic.
You can typically nullify the effects of the herbicide by washing the grass with water to dilute the effects of the chemical.
Clean all of the sprayed areas with water, and, depending on the species of the plant and the type of herbicide used, it may survive.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Removing weeds is a very important part of lawn care. Weeds not only ruin the entire look of your lawn, but they can also cause serious damage to your lawn’s plants by using up the resources that your plants would require in order to survive.
You can remove weeds in a number of different ways including pulling them out or using herbicide sprays. The best way to deal with weeds, however, is to take proactive steps to prevent them from growing in the first place.