Beautiful lawns come about due to regular and sustained lawn maintenance that keeps lawn weeds and other plant growth from taking hold. Dandelions, crabgrass, clover, ivy, and chickweed are the most commonly occurring and problematic weeds found on lawns.
If you have a weed problem or want to prevent weeds from overtaking a new lawn installation, we have some valuable tips on how to get rid of weeds without killing grass on your lawn.
If you are looking for how to get weeds out of grass without ruining your lawn, here are some handy tips you can use to ensure a well-kept lawn.
1. Water Your Lawn Deeply and Less Often
One of the most straightforward tips for how to kill weeds in lawns is to simply water your lawn. Weeds thrive in dry and hot weather conditions because they are adapted to growing with very little water.
Professional landscapers recommend watering your lawn for at least 30 minutes thrice a week. These watering sessions should give your grass ample moisture, allowing the roots to take hold, which in turn ensures healthy and thick lawn growth.
Remember the golden rule – water deep and less often instead of light and more often.
2. Mow Your Lawn High Enough to Preserve Grass and Low Enough to Kill Weeds
One of the most common questions professional landscapers receive about how to get rid of weeds without killing grass involves mowing. Regularly mowing your lawn keeps the grass healthy and prevents weeds such as crabgrass from taking root.
However, even when mowing your lawn, there are specific rules to ensure your grass remains unharmed. Importantly, when it comes to weed control, you should set your lawnmower high enough to leave your grass untouched and low enough to remove growing weeds. Consequently, your lawnmower should not cut more than a third of the length of your grass.
This technique may take some time to perfect, and your landscaper will help you get the proper settings on your mower. You must also sharpen your blades annually to provide a clean cut every time and ensure that your machine remains in good working condition.
Your landscaper will also advise you on the proper mowing schedule for the most effective weed control. This plan includes cutting your grass weekly in the spring and at least every ten days in the summer.
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3. Use the Proper Amount of Fertilizer Every Season
Fertilizer is essential for the proper growth of your grass. It provides lawn grass with all the nutrients for healthy and steady growth. Too little fertilizer can make your grass growth weak, allowing weeds to compete with them for sunlight, water, and other nutrients. Alternately, too much fertilizer can promote excessive weed growth, which you definitely don’t want.
Your professional landscaper should have the proper advice for fertilizing your lawn. They can offer tips on available high-quality fertilizers (and their application), watering schedules, proper seeding, and aeration, and the best type of grass seed to keep weeds at a minimum.
4. Use Selective Herbicides and Weed Killers
One of the most effective solutions how to get rid of weeds in the grass is to use selective weed killers or herbicides. These targeted solutions are some of the most effective when thinking about how to get rid of weeds without killing grass.
Researching the options available to you, including how they will affect your lawn installation, is essential before you buy any selective herbicides. If you choose the wrong option, you risk damaging your lawn grass without killing any of the weeds.
The best selective weed killer for effectiveness and safety is the herbicide 2,4-D. This weed killer has minimal risks making it one of the best solutions for how to get rid of weeds without killing grass.
Selective herbicides like 2,4-D work by damaging the leaf and changing the way the plant carries out photosynthesis. Because of this, the weed grows abnormally and quickly ages to death. These selective herbicides are available at most garden centers, including Lowe’s and Home Depot.
5. Apply Corn Gluten Meal
When considering how to get rid of weeds in yard areas, organic and non-toxic solutions are preferable over chemical solutions; therefore, we recommend you utilize non-toxic solutions as much as possible. Corn gluten meal is an excellent weed control method as it contains high nitrogen levels, which prevents weed seeds from germinating.
However, this is where professional lawn care from Lawnman Landscape can come in handy. Many amateur gardeners imprudently use corn gluten meal on seeds they plan to keep. This mistake could be detrimental as they may end up killing those seeds as well as the troublesome weeds.
Corn gluten meal is best applied in early spring before weeds have a chance to take root. When you apply this weed-control solution to already established weeds, you will worsen the problem by feeding them and enabling them to thrive. Bear in mind that corn gluten meal works much like chemical pre-emergent weed killers, which prevent weeds as well as grass from sprouting.
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6. Leverage the Power of Mulching
A thick layer of mulch prevents weeds from growing and taking a foothold on your lawn. This prevention happens because mulch covers the soil and deprives weed seeds of sunlight, which they need for the germination process.
Mulch also prevents weeds from finding a hospitable place to grow. Because there is no bare soil available to them, weeds find it difficult to land and germinate, preventing their occurrence in the first place.
Straw is an excellent mulch for preventing weed growth, but it may contain weed seeds, which defeats the purpose. Another good alternative is grass mulch, but it lacks curb appeal as it makes your lawn appear messy and unkempt.
Two better mulch solutions include bark mulch and wood chips. Wood chips suppress most garden weeds and prevent the strong growth of weeds that breakthrough, making it easier for you to pull them out by hand. However, wood chips are entirely organic; therefore, they break down over time, which diminishes their weed-suppression abilities.
Bark mulch provides excellent cover and helps fight weed growth at the root. Although this solution doesn’t prevent weed growth 100%, it stops light from reaching weed seeds, subsequently blocking germination. Bark mulch also helps retain soil moisture, keeps the roots of plants cool in hot climates, and has high aesthetic appeal on new lawn installations.
7. Hand-Weed Your Lawn of Young Weeds
If you’re wondering how to remove weeds from lawn grass without killing the lush turf, try hand-weeding. This method is manageable if you have a relatively small lawn or a weed problem that hasn’t yet taken root. The hand-weeding method is also effective against annual broadleaf weeds since you can easily pull them out before they flower, seed, and spread.
Perennial weeds, such as Dandelion, Quackgrass, Johnsongrass, and Nutsedges, are best removed while still young. Early removal allows you to eliminate the deep taproots before they take root in your lawn. Yank these weeds repeatedly, and you will ultimately starve them and kill them for good.
Hand-weeding in moist soil is one of the best tips for how to kill weeds in lawn areas. Moist soil makes it easier to remove the whole plant—roots and all—and prevent subsequent regrowth. Once you have removed the weed, reseed the bare spot with a plant of your choosing; otherwise, new weeds will take the place of the old ones sooner than you think.
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What Not to Do When Planning How to Get Rid of Weeds Without Killing Grass
Some amateur tips for how to kill weeds in lawn areas could end up ruining your lawn altogether. Hiring a professional company like Lawnman Landscape to do the job for you is vital to preventing these mistakes.
Some of the solutions we advise homeowners not to use in their weed control efforts include:
- Boiling Water
- Horticultural Vinegar
- Roundup Weed Killer
- Saline Solution
These at-home methods do not work well when lawn owners are experimenting with how to get rid of weeds without killing grass. These methods kill lawn grass as well as weeds, consequently leaving unsightly and enduring yellow patches on your lawn.
These products, however, are economical and effective for use in an outdoor area that doesn’t have any grass, such as gravel pads, back alleys, driveways, and rock patios. Do not ever use these methods on newly installed or established lawn areas.
A beautiful and weed-free lawn can make all the difference to your property’s curb appeal and value. If you are seeking easy tips for “how to kill weed in lawns”, the points explored in this article will help you to get started quickly.
Remember, commercially available chemical solutions such as Roundup and at-home solutions such as boiling water may seem tempting as they are very accessible and easy to implement. However, these weed control methods may do more harm than good as they kill all plants, including the grass you wish to preserve.
Instead, opt for high-quality selective herbicides that won’t harm your grass. If necessary, use a chemical weed-removal solution. Better yet, implement organic weed-control methods such as mulching, corn gluten meal application, and hand-weeding.
At Lawnman Landscape, we can give you all the advice you need on how to kill weeds in lawns quickly and safely. Our highly trained landscape technicians have horticultural certifications and over 30 years of combined experience tackling the toughest weed problems in the Greater Sacramento area.
We take great pride in giving our customers the highest levels of landscaping service, prioritizing proper lawn care, honest advice, timely service, and responsive communication to ensure we leave you with a gorgeous, lush lawn.
Don’t take chances with a jack-of-all-trades lawn care outfit. Contact Lawnman Landscape today to enjoy specialized weed control services that focus on lawn nutrition and herbicide application.