A Guide to Eliminating Weeds without Harming Grass

Nothing makes as much of a statement as the condition of your lawn. Unfortunately, along with warmer weather, weeds love to sprout up and ruin the lush spans of green carpeting you so enjoy. However, armed with a few tools and a little knowledge, you can learn how to kill weeds without killing grass. It is important to begin by identify the specific type of weeds you are trying to eliminate. This allows you to custom tailor a treatment program that will get rid of undesirable plants while protecting healthy grass. Five common types of invaders include:

Dandelions

Usually identifiable by the bright yellow flowers, this plant has oblong leaves with a jagged edge. When the stem is broken, a white milky substance will ooze out.

Large Crabgrass

Crabgrass is an annual that spreads by both seeds and roots. It is recognizable by the characteristic long runners that trail out from the center of the root ball.

Prickly Lettuce

Prickly lettuce grows in a rosette shape with individual shoots coming out of the center. The leaves are jagged and have rows of prickles on the underside. Flowers are small, daisy-like blossoms. Although this weed is great for repelling insects, it grows to a height of almost five feet.

Common Cocklebur

Best described as a rough broadleaf plant, Cocklebur has thick stems with purplish-black spots. The leaves are triangular. Once it blooms, it spreads like wildfire. Do not use in mulch if it has gone to bloom.

Lamb's Quarters

The stems of this plant have red streaks and can grow six feet tall. The leaves are diamond shaped.

How to Kill Weeds without Killing Grass

Commercial preparations of weed killer are very effective but each plant must be treated individually. You can't spray weed killer because it will kill the grass as well. The most effective strategies on how to kill weeds without killing grass involve a combination of the following:

Frequent Mowing

Grass will thrive if mowed to the proper height and smother weeds out. Frequent mowing, leaving grass as long as possible, promotes healthy growth.

Use a Crab Grass Killer

Mixed with fertilizer and applied in spring, this is the easiest method for preventing crabgrass. Also known as a “weed and feed” product, this type of treatment doesn’t work as well if you wait too long.

Corn Gluten

Applying corn gluten to your lawn in early spring is another way of inhibiting the growth of Dandelions, Lamb's Quarters, and Crabgrass.

Seeding

The best method to ensure thick, weed -free grass is to over seed in early spring. Grass will smother weeds and keep the lawn from developing bare patches.

 
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