Killing lawn weeds can be very simple if you stay away from the products and practices that are a waste of time and money.
I always laugh when my daughter points to a dandelion and says ”look a pretty flower.”
The lawn professional in me can’t help but correct her. These “pretty flowers”, as well as many other broad leaf weeds, can spread rapidly and suffocate your lawn.
The main problem I have with fertilizer companies and their “step” programs is they convince you that the best way to kill weeds in your lawn is to apply one of their pre-mixed fertilizer and granular herbicide mixtures.
In my experience these products very rarely work. While companies like to sell you the convenience of fertilizing and controlling weeds with the same application, it is not the best way.
If you already have broad leaf weeds in your lawn it is very unlikely that one of these mixes will kill them.
Why Don’t Granular Herbicides Work on Established Weeds?
Under perfect conditions they sometimes work. But perfect conditions are hard to come by.
For starters the lawn needs to be a little wet to get the granular herbicide to stick to the weed leaves. Even then, most of the herbicide ends up bouncing off the weed leaves.
If you are lucky enough to get the correct moisture for the herbicide to stick to the weeds leaves, you have to wish for some additional luck that you don’t get any rain for at least 24 hours. Otherwise the herbicide will wash off the leaves and this will all be for nothing.
Also, broadcasting an herbicide over your entire lawn is a waste. Chances are there are just some specific areas that require herbicide so I recommend spot treating those problem areas instead of putting expensive and harmful chemicals over your entire lawn.
The only herbicide I spread over my entire lawn is a crabgrass pre-emergent. This is a granular herbicide that prevents crabgrass, as well as other broadleaf weeds from germinating. Prevention is definitely the best method for dealing with crabgrass.
Spot Treat Lawn Using Liquid Herbicide
This means going around your lawn with a liquid herbicide and spraying just the weeds. There are a lot of products that are safe to use on your lawn. A lot of these products even come with an applicator.
I really like Ortho Weed B Gone for spot treating lawn weeds.
To treat your lawn, I recommend walking your lawn frequently (every week) and spraying any lawn weeds you see. This will help you stay on top of weeds and will prevent them from spreading.
Blanket Spray If There’s a Lot of Weeds
What if you have so many weeds that spot treating isn’t an option?
If you have a lot of weeds mixed in with your lawn it might seem ridiculous to go around and spray each individual weed.
Instead, you’re better off blanket spraying your entire lawn. Blanket spraying is done with a tank sprayer. You simply mix a liquid herbicide with water (according to the instructions) and walk your entire lawn while spraying.
Tenacity, is a great herbicide for blanket spraying. It can also be used to spot treat. Using tenacity is going to save you a lot of money since you get more mileage out of it then the Ortho Weed B Gone. So if you have a more serious weed problem then I definitely recommend using the Tenacity.
Are There Any Chemical Free Ways to Kill Weeds in Lawn?
There’s always the manual way, which is actually the most effective way. There is a great weed grabbing tool that many people use to pull weeds completely out of their lawn, including the weeds root system.
It is especially effective for removing dandelions since dandelions have a long tap root that can be hard to rip out.
Renovate Lawn to Combat Weeds
If your lawn is overwhelmed with weeds you might be convinced you have to rip everything out and start over. Before doing so, consider core aerating and overseeding. Core aerating and overseeding, can drastically improve your lawn.
If you want to go a step further, top dressing your lawn, in addition to core aerating and overseeding is the ultimate lawn renovation.
As usual the best recommendation I can give for combating lawn weeds is sticking to a good lawn care program and maintaining a healthy lawn.
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