Getting Rid of Lawn Weeds That Have Already Sprouted
For homeowners, weeds are the scourge of beautiful home landscaping. The only thing worse than getting rid of them is getting rid of them when they've already sprouted. However, not all weeds look the same or even grow in the same way. Knowing how to tell the difference between then can go a long way in ensuring they don't come back.
Types of Weeds
Grass-like weeds, such as nutsedge, look similar to grass blades but are among the most difficult weeds to get rid of. Growing mostly in agriculture zones, nutsedge grows in a dense and unpredictable manner, making them difficult to keep under control. Although they produce seeds, they mainly reproduce through underground tubers attached to the stems rooted in the soil.
Crabgrass, another type of grass-like weed, germinates for a very long time and grows throughout the season in almost any type of climate. They also thrive in areas that lack water, are underfertilized, and thinly growing, making them a particularly frustrating weed to get rid of. Crabgrass also looks similar to grass that has sprouted between pavement cracks in dense, hard-to-remove clumps.
Broadleaf weeds are another common category of lawn weeds. This includes plantains, purslane, and other non-grassy weeds. Broadleaf weeds are identified by their clumps of stubby, flat, large leaves with some flowers and spikes. Seedlings are typically dispersed with the wind and germinate perennially.
You must first identify the type of weed accurately before attempting to remove them. It allows you to use the best techniques to kill and remove different types of weeds in one go.
Deciding on a Removal Tactic
Once you've identified the type of weed growing on your lawn, you need to decide how to go about removing or killing it. There are a couple different tactics:
- Hand-pulling or digging: This is an effective tactic if the weeds are growing only in a few places around your lawn. However, this needs to be done before the weeds start flowering and setting seeds. Otherwise, the weeds will spread and sprout anyway. Dandelions in particular can be effectively removed through hand-pulling or digging.
- Spot-spraying: This is a good choice if the weeds are concentrated in one area. Spray all the weeds with a general herbicide, like glyphosate. Make sure to spray on a day when the weather is between 65-68 degrees. Give the herbicide at least a week to work and re-spray if the weeds aren't dead after two weeks. Another good thing about spot-spraying is that you can re-plant grass after the weed dies, although it needs to be done after two weeks.
- Broadleaf weed killer: This tactic is best for lawns that have widespread weed problems throughout the entire lawn. It involves spreading a granular or spray liquid product over the whole lawn to kill the weeds. Look for weed killer that specifically treats broadleaf and grass-like weeds. These are typically systemic varieties of weeds, which means the plants have to take the chemicals up through the roots. Be sure to give the weeds a couple of weeks to die before re-applying.
Lawn Care for Preventing New Weeds
Proper lawn care is important to prevent weeds from spreading. You must water the lawn both deeply and infrequently to keep weeds from taking root.Likewise, fertilize only when the lawn needs it and don't use extra nitrogen. From time to time, check the soil pH to make sure it is within the optimum range for lawn grass. When mowing, set the mower blade to the highest setting for your grass type to avoid making it too short thus allowing weeds to take root.
It can seem like a lot of work to get rid of a few errant plants, but your lawn will thank you in the end, especially when beautiful landscaping can shine uninterrupted by frustrating weeds.