Weeds making proper lawn care and gardening more difficult than it should be. These pesky plants pop up everywhere, like in the cracks of your sidewalk or throughout your garden bed. Keeping weeds out of your lawn and garden requires the proper plan and equipment.
Not all weeds are created equal. Some are more difficult than others, and you don’t want to use the same plan to get rid of weeds for your lawn as you might your garden beds. So, let’s take a look at the best ways to get weeds out of your lawn and garden.
Identifying The Types of Weeds
Not all weeds are easy to recognize. It can be hard to distinguish which weeds are what, but trying your help can help ensure you’re using the right type of herbicide. Here are a few examples of weeds that might invade your lawn
Cheatgrass blends into the lawn so well, so you might not even realize that it’s taking over the lawn until its too late. Look for leaves that branch up from the bottom of the plant. Those leaves usually are flat and reddish, and they’re covered with soft hairs.
Crabgrass is the weed that almost everyone is familiar with and has to struggle to eradicate. It seems to grow everywhere. Crabgrass is a warm-season annual grass that sprouts from seed when the late spring temperatures rise. It will eventually die when the temperatures start to cool down.
Technically, dandelions are quite beneficial, offering food to bees and have medicinal benefits that you can use. Dandelions are easy to recognize, and they take root in most lawns. The leaves grow close to the ground in a star-shaped pattern with yellow flowers. Dandelions bloom in spring to early summer.
Dollarweed is also known as pennywort. It has round leaves with wavy edges and white flowers that pop up throughout the summer. Dollarweed prefers warmer regions and moist lawns with bare spots.
How to Keep Weeds Out of Your Lawn
Keeping weeds out of your lawn can be a bit tricky. Here are some essential tips.
Work Toward Prevention
The best defense is a good offense. So, when it comes to lawn care, prevention is vital. Keeping a strong lawn cut at the ideal height and watered correctly is one of the best ways to keep weeds at bay. Cutting your grass at the right height and not allowing it to get too long will cause the grass to out-compete the lawn weeds.
Make sure you mow your grass when you need it — mow one-third of the height of the lawn. Never mow more than one-third of the grass because you risk pulling away vital nutrients that the grass needs to grow. Cutting your grass too short is just as bad as not cutting it at all.
Examples of ideal mowing heights are:
- Tall Fescue: 1.5-3 inches
- Kentucky Bluegrass: 1.5-3 inches
- Perennial Ryegrass: 1.5-3 inches
- Bermuda Grass: 0.5-1 inch
- St. Augustine Grass: 1-3 inches
Determine What Weeds You Have
Figure out what weeds you’re dealing with before you make a battle plan. Each weed requires a different product and application methods. Some of those methods are time sensitive, so identify the weeds first.
Try an Herbicide
Use a broadleaf weed killer herbicide to get rid of the weeds in your lawn. Some people do prefer not to use chemicals, and you can use homemade herbicides on those weeds if you feel the same.
Pull Weeds By Hands
Some weeds are tough. Pull those out by hand, removing all of the root systems in the process. You can also pull the weeds after you’ve made a few applications of herbicides if the weeds are still sticking.
Try Crabgrass in the Spring
Crabgrass is a pain in the butt, and it’s best treated by spreading a pre-emergent chemical in the spring to stop any crabgrass seeds from germinating.
How to Keep Weeds Out of Your Garden
While weeds are frustrating in a garden, weeds play a part in the health of your garden. Nature uses weeds to heal sites that are wounded without any plants, but nature doesn’t know you planned it that way!
Use a Knife to Remove
A sharp garden knife is an ideal tool to get rid of weeds. The narrow blade doesn’t disturb the soil too much, cutting through the roots of the plants. A garden knife can slice right through dandelion roots without a problem. Removing the roots stops the regrowth of the weeds.
Lay mulch all over your garden beds. Mulch helps to regulate soil temperature, retain soil moisture, and suppress weeds. Organic mulches, such as shredded leaves and grass clippings, release nutrients back into the soil as they decompose.
Pull When Wet
Weeding is most effortless when the soil is wet. After heavy rainfall, wear some gloves and go out to remove those pesky weeds. Make sure you bring along a garden fork or knife to pry loose the tough ones!
Use a Drip Soaker
Your goal is to water your plants, not the weeds. Using a drip soaker hose concentrates the water around your plants that need water. Make sure you put the hose underneath the mulch to ensure the plants have proper hydration.
This trick works because, in most climates, depriving weeds of water reduces the seed germination by at least 50 percent.
Add Organic Matter
Healthy soil has fewer problems with weeds and weed seeds. Try enriching your soil with organic matter whenever you can to reduce the number of weeds in your garden. Fewer weeds will germinate in soil that contains fresh compost or organic matter. So, remember, healthy and well-fed soil reduces the risk of weeds.
Giving Weeds The Boot
Weeds are an annoyance, but they don’t have to stay around forever. With the right plan of attack, you can get rid of the weeds over time. It’ll take persistence and a fight, but a weed-free lawn and garden are worth the effort.