How to Get Rid of Weeds — Everything You Need to Know

Getting rid of weeds in your lawn can feel like a never-ending task. Some weeds, like dandelions, can bring in helpful pollinators — but too many can steal essential nutrients and space that your grass and other plants need to thrive.

Weeds can attract parasites and lawn damaging insects, providing them with a place to hide from your insecticide applications. To avoid returning year after year to fight the same weed battles, learn how to eliminate weeds effectively and prevent them from spreading and regrowing. Through successful weed management, you’ll be able to reduce the amount of time and energy spent on killing weeds each year.

If you’re finally looking to end your weed worries, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll share with you all we know on how to manually get rid of your weeds through safe and effective herbicide products. If your goal is a weed-free yard, keep reading.

Recognize What You’re Dealing With

The best long-term solution for controlling weeds in your lawn is to have healthy grass in the first place. If your grass is flourishing, weeds find it harder to compete for light, air, and nutrients. Fertilizers, biostimulants, and soil moisture managers can help keep your grass in top condition, minimizing the risk of a weed or pest invasion.

Mow frequently, ensuring you attach a basket to your mower to catch clippings and avoid spreading weed seeds. Grass clippings also create a warm and comfortable home for pests and their eggs — so this will solve two problems in one. It’s also important to dispose of weeds properly, ensuring they can’t re-root and come back to haunt you. Don’t mix weeds with your compost pile. Alternatively, dispose of them with your other green waste.

Often, weeds indicate soil problems. To remedy this, a home soil pH test kit will tell you precisely what is going on underneath your grass and whether or not it’s too acidic or alkaline. Once you’ve established what your soil lacks or has too much of, you can correct this. It’s also important to find out why particular weeds favor your lawn.

For instance, ground ivy enjoys damp soil and shady areas. To fix this, try improving soil drainage through aeration — removing small cores of soil from the grass. It’s a good idea first to identify the weeds causing havoc in your lawn to know the best way to get rid of them. Once you’ve done this, you can move on to removing them from your grass.

Related: Step-By-Step Guide for Getting a Golf Course Lawn

 

How to Get Rid of Weeds Naturally

Hand-Weeding

Hand-Weeding

 

Herbicides and pesticides should always be a last resort. Adding strong chemicals to a natural ecosystem can adversely affect other plants, grass and helpful insects.

Weeding-by-hand is the most effective way to target weeds growing on small lawns. If the number of weeds isn’t overwhelming, hand-weeding is a safe and natural way to restore harmony to your lawn. This method works best against annual broadleaf weeds, like Broadleaf plantain and Common chickweed. Pulling the weeds up while they’re young and more vulnerable is the simplest way to prevent them from flowering, seeding, and spreading.

Catching perennial weeds (which grow every spring) is vital before developing taproots. Mature weeds with deep taproots are much harder to pull out. When you’re hand-weeding, pull out the entire plant, root, and as many root pieces as you can. Any remnants of the roots left underground will sprout new weeds. If you spot any new weeds sprouting, keep pulling them up to starve the roots of sunlight and eventually kill the weed.

It’s easiest to weed when the soil is slightly moist and soft. Dry soil is hard work and increases the likelihood of the root snapping and remaining under the soil. Helpful tools, like hand-weeders, can get to the weed’s root by probing deep underneath the earth. If you’re using this method, ensure you reseed the spot where you’ve removed the old weed, or new weeds will replace it.

How to Hand-Weed

 

 

Once you’ve got your hand-weeder at the ready, you may be unsure of how to use it. We’ve simplified a step-by-step process for you to remove weeds effectively and efficiently.

Step 1

As we’ve mentioned before, perennial weeds should be pulled up when they’re young to prevent the development of hard-to-remove taproots. After rainfall, or when the soil is moist, push your hand-weeder into the soil, angled downwards towards the center of the plant. Loosen the soil around the weed with your hand-weeder so it will be easier to remove.

Step 2

With the tool still angled deep in the soil towards the center of the plant, try to lever the roots up while pulling the weed with your other hand. Do this gently as you don’t want to break off the roots and risk regrowth.

Step 3

Once you’ve removed the weeds and their roots, smooth soil over the hole, adding some compost. Cover the exposed area with lawn seed, and ensure you keep the soil moist until the grass is about an inch in length.

Mulching

Mulching

 

By limiting the available light to weeds, they won’t stand a chance. Spreading mulch on top of the soil will suppress weed growth — reducing the need to weed. This method of weed control applies primarily to ornamental plant areas like flower beds and surrounding hardscape.

What Is Mulching?

Mulches are loose coverings like compost, wood chippings, leaf mold, and manure. Alternatively, mulch can be sheets of material — anything that covers the top of the soil. Mulch has numerous advantages as well as suffocating weeds, such as:

  • Helps the soil retain moisture, reducing watering requirements.
  • Improves the soil’s organic matter, providing more nutrients for plants and grass.
  • Deters certain pests — like cockroaches and termites if you use chip or bark mulch.
  • Protects plant roots from extreme changes in temperature (e.g. keeping the soil warm in spring).
  • Encourages beneficial soil organisms.
  • Provides a clean finish.

We recommend using a biodegradable mulch that will break down, provide your soil with nutrients, and eliminate weeds. First, you will have to lay down a weed barrier, like newspaper or cardboard. Don’t leave gaps between sections, and soak the barrier before adding two to three inches of your choice of mulch over the top.

As natural mulch will biodegrade over time, it’s essential to top it up every few years. Layers of gravel, pebbles, or stone chipping do the same job and are more permanent but won’t feed your soil.

Home Remedies

It’s also possible to make your own weed killer from easily accessible ingredients that you can find in your kitchen cupboard. White vinegar and baking soda are two ingredients you can use to target weeds easily and effectively.

White Vinegar

You can use white vinegar with anything between 5% to 20% acid content. The higher the percentage, the better the results. Pour the vinegar into a spray bottle with table salt mixed with water and spritz on weed leaves to wither them. Be careful not to spray nearby plants, grass, or soil as this solution can damage them. Repeat this process every few days until the weeds have died off.

Baking Soda

As baking soda is a powder, you’ll need to wet weed leaves to make it stick. Sprinkle one teaspoon of baking soda over the weed’s leaves and leave for a month. Reapply after a month if the weeds are stubborn, and use this mixture on cracks in your paving to prevent them from growing there too.

Herbicides

Although it’s tempting to reach for an easy and quick solution to your weed woes, resist the urge to use herbicides. They should be your last resort. But some weeds can be surprisingly stubborn, or your lawn might be too overrun to try some of the above methods. If this is the case, remember to follow product directions with caution, as incorrect usage can damage or kill turf.

 

Related: The Best Four Products for Killing Weeds Without Killing Grass

 

 

If you choose to use a herbicide, ensure it’s labeled as safe for your grass type and formulated to target your specific weed problem. The label will tell you when and how to use the product. For example, some work only in certain temperatures or when they’re applied at a particular time of the year.

There are two main types of herbicide: Pre-Emergent and Post-Emergent. Pre-Emergents kill weed seeds while they’re germinating, and Post-Emergents kill existing weeds that are growing.

At Golf Course Lawn Store, we have a carefully selected range of the best weed killers to target weeds safely and quickly. Here are our selections:

Mirimichi Green Organic Weed Control

The folks at Mirimichi Green are committed to producing effective, sustainable, and bio-based products. Mirimichi Green Organic Weed Control is no exception. It’s fast-acting and can be used on residential and commercial lawns. What’s more, it’s affordable and easy to apply. As this weed killer spray is non-selective, it will kill weeds and grass. This is an excellent alternative to glyphosate for spot-spraying lawn weeds. It’s also biodegradable and won’t leave any harmful residues, making it safe for people and pets. Also, it breaks up rapidly in the soil, so there is no chance of build-up and the risk of the herbicide entering ponds or streams.

 

Celsius and Certainty Herbicide Kit with Surfactant and Dye

For more professional, targeted weed control, check out our Celsius and Certainty Herbicide Kit with Surfactant and Dye. We’ve created a kit to target a wide range of weeds, including a surfactant to help the herbicide stick and blue dye to mark treated areas. With Celsius and Certainty herbicides working together, this is the ultimate weed-killing combo.

 

 

Mesotrione MESO 4SC Select™

 

Mesotrione MESO 4SC Select™ is a herbicide that is both a Pre-Emergent and a Post-Emergent. It controls over 45 different broadleaf species and won’t kill your grass when used properly. It’s one of the best herbicides to eliminate tough weeds like dandelions. This weed killer represses photosynthesis in targeted weeds as it is absorbed through roots, leaves, and shoots.

 

 

How to Get Rid of Weeds

Certain herbicides, like Dithiopyr .172% and Prodiamine .38% Pre-Emergents contain fertilizers to boost plant growth and control weeds. It all depends on what you’re looking for. For Post-Emergent weed killers, it’s best to apply them in spring or summer while the weeds are actively growing. Ensure you apply on a warm day so the rain won’t wash away the herbicide. You can use Pre-Emergents to stay on top of weed growth before it even starts, applying in the early spring after cultivating.

You can get rid of weeds through patience, consistency and the right method and be one step closer to a golf course lawn. As we’ve mentioned previously, there is no better way to deter weeds and pests in the first instance than having a thriving, deep green lawn.

 

Related: Pest Control for Your Lawn — A Complete Guide

 

Do you want to be the envy of your neighborhood? Golf Course Lawn Store offers a specially curated range of products and lawn advice. Browse our collection today and find the right products to achieve the vibrant lawn of your dreams.