Ella Wheeler Wilcox of poetry fame once said, “A weed is but an unloved flower.” That may be true for poets, but in your lawn, there’s nothing flowery about the pesky weeds and infest otherwise lovely green turf. If you’ve been gardening for long at all, you know that once your lawn has weeds, weeding seems to be the never-ending task. Below are 10 helpful and easy tips to controlling weeds before they grow. Hope these 10 tips help control lawn weeds easily.
10 Easy Tips to Control Lawn Weeds
1. Mulching is King
No matter who you talk to, every single lawn and garden expert will tell you the same thing – mulch the heck out of your garden. Plants don’t grow without light, and weeds are no exception. When there are open dirt spaces around your lawn, weeds have areas to grow and then drop their seeds into your grass. If you keep the open spaces around your lawn mulched, the weeds will have very few places to grow and produce seeds that will infest your lawn. An added bonus is that a well mulched garden around your lawn is lovely.
2. Selective Watering
Shallow, frequent watering patterns are not helpful for lawns. The roots of the turf never get to grow deeply, since the water never penetrates into the deep soil, and therefore can’t compete with the weed seeds that are on every lawn. Deep watering counteracts this problem by allowing the grass to grow deep roots and thus to compete for weed growth spaces. If you’re using well water, be sure you have a pressure tank along with your submersible well pump. Otherwise the sprinkling process can cause your submersible well pump to cycle off and on, shortening its life.
3. Herbicides, Shovels and Weeds
It’s wise to have some sort of herbicide on hand for pesky weeds. While this isn’t always advisable for every weed outbreak depending on the location of the weed, a good herbicide can deal with a pesky weed problem once and for all. Be careful though – some herbicides kill indiscriminately and they will take out your lawn too. So choose an herbicide that will kill weeds and leave the lawn (sometimes called selective). This is readily available at your local hardware store. Just ask the employee in the lawn and garden section and they’ll point you in the right direction.
4. Manual Labor
If you’re a gardening enthusiast, you enjoy some outdoor work. There really is no substitute for getting down in the grass and pulling the weeds by hand. It’s time consuming, hot, and dirty work, but it pays off. If you’re not up for this sort of thing, ask a boy or girl from the neighborhood to jump in. Pay them $.25 a weed, and they’ll work on your lawn like crazy. Just keep an eye out so that they don’t pull up your turf at the same time. After they’re done, be sure to offer them a Coke or some lemonade.
5. Have a Longer Cut
Longer grass helps control weeds because it eliminates their light source. Your mower can be set for a longer cut length, which limits light penetration to the ground surface where weed seeds are just waiting to germinate. If you keep the grass a bit longer, you’ll limit weed production, and in turn, limit weed seeds spreading through your lawn.
6. Build a Castle Wall
There’s a reason old cities had walls – to keep the riffraff out. The same should be true of your lawn. Use edging around the garden to keep creeping weed systems from spreading to your lawn from other locations like sidewalk cracks and lawns. If you edge properly, your lawn will have a nice buffer to keep weeds out.
7. Dig at Your Own Risk
Digging in any location in or around your lawn is a risk. Weed seeds are everywhere, but they only grow in the top layer of soil. When you or your pets dig and spread dirt, you’re really planting weed seeds that were too deep to grow into the uppermost soil layer. Be ready for an outbreak, unless you quickly treat the soil with herbicide.
8. Go for the Young Ones
One of the most important rules in eliminating lawn weeds is to keep on top of them. If you pull weeds when they’re young and their root systems have not established in the grass, you should be able to prevent large-scale breakouts. This makes the weeding process quick and easy, but also very frequent. Again, a neighborhood child may want to make some money doing this for you on a consistent basis. Regardless, though, an unattended lawn will inevitably grow weeds.
9. Spring is Your Friend
It’s very important to start your lawn’s growing cycle the right way. One of the best ways to eliminate widespread weed growth is to get them right as the lawn is beginning to grow. This method is especially useful for killing off grassy weeds like crabgrass and clover. If you stop them early, they won’t overtake your lawn. You can use a pre-emergent weed preventer that will kill the weed seeds before they germinate. Again, as your local hardware store for advice.
10. Choke them Out
If a section of your lawn has been completely overtaken, use newspaper with some weights to block out the light. After a few days, the weeds (and grass) in that area will be dead. Just replant grass seed and the grass will grow back without the pesky weeds being with it. This is a longer term solution, but it does the job well.
End Talk of Tips Help Control Lawn Weeds
Using all these methods is advisable. Lawn weeds are a major nuisance, and can ruin the look of your outdoor space. However, you can fight against them, and eventually win, by applying these simple tips. Above all, remember that entropy is not your friend. Things always move toward disorder. No lawn looks great and stays free without some work, so keep a close eye over your lawn, hire some neighbors, and pay attention. The result will be the lawn of your dreams!