Weeds are pesky, not to mention persistent. They pop up unexpectedly and threaten to ruin the look of a beautiful lawn, flower bed, or landscaped yard. Although they are just plants, after all, weeds are a nuisance and an unwanted pest many homeowners struggle with. Below we share a few tips for keeping weeds from moving into your lawn, plus ways to tackle weeds when they do start growing.
Types Of Weeds
A weed is, simply put, any plant growing in a place you don’t want it to be growing. While some weeds are visually appealing and may even be desirable (for example, Texas wildflowers), the vast majority are not. There are instead unsightly or invasive, and not something waned in the yard. While many plants fall into the weed category, weeds can be divided into 2 overarching main groups.
Grassy: Quick growing and similar to grass, as the name implies, these common weeds include crabgrass, goosegrass, foxtail, and barnyardgrass.
Broadleaf: Characterized by wide leaves and a broad “vein” in the center, which other leaves grow out from.
Weeds additionally fall into two sub-categories, which relate to how they grow and spread — and consequently how they can be eradicated.
Annual: These weeds have shallow roots and spread throughout a yard or garden via seeds. They are easier to get rid of, due to their shallow nature and their inability to spread through roots.
Perennial: These weeds have deep, extensive roots and are more difficult to get rid of. They spread by seeds or creeping roots, and if you remove them but miss a part of the root they can spread even from a small portion of root that’s left behind.
Before They Grow: Preventing Weeds
You don’t have to get rid of weeds that don’t exist, so the best way to keep weeds at bay is to engage in preventive lawncare measures and stop them before they even begin growing. By eliminating the conditions in which weeds grow and thrive, you can decrease the likelihood of them taking over your yard.
There are a few things you can do to make weeds less likely to grow in your beautiful, carefully maintained lawn.
Maintain a Healthy Lawn: The most important thing to do to keep weeds away is to maintain a healthy, thick lawn. If you care for and provide attention to your lawn around the year, weeds will be less likely to move in or to take root among the grass. This can be done through standard care and routine maintenance.
Seed Your Lawn: Seeding contributes to the quantity and quality of grass growing in your lawn, and will help maintain the thickness that is helpful in preventing weeds.
Mow Regularly And High: Regular mowing is a part of lawn care, of course, and when it comes to keeping weeds away moving slightly higher is actually helpful. The reason for this is that weeds need sun to grow, so if grass is slightly longer they won’t have as much light and won’t grow as much.
Fertilize Frequently: Applying fertilizer at the appropriate times throughout the year is an important part of lawn care. Fertilizing enables your lawn to grow strong, making it more resistant to invasive pests like weeds.
Water Deeply: Encourage your grass to grow deep roots, which will deter weeds from being able to take root or keep coming back. Watering with a method like drip irrigation ensures water seeps into the soil rather than just hits the surface, helping roots thrive.
Things To Avoid: There are a few things to avoid when preventing weeds — Mowing your grass too short or low, compacted soil, and dry soil needing water.
After They Grow: Treating Weeds
Once weeds crop up, they will likely be undesired and unsightly causing you to take quick action. There are a few things you can do to tackle them.
Hand Pulling: This “old school” method involves manually removing weeds. While not always a viable option, if you only have a few weeds or only broadleaf weeds, or weeds are confined to a mulched or garden area, pulling them out can be effective. This solution is appropriate for scattered or larger weeds, but is not a solution for a widespread issue.
Herbicides And Treatment: There are a variety of herbicides and lawn treatments that can be used to combat weeds. There are many choices that vary by strength and composition. Some natural methods are available too, but are generally less effective.
Take Control Now
The first thing to do is ensure your lawn is receiving the services and routine lawn care it requires. Grassworks offers a wide variety of services, from maintenance to cleanups to ongoing care. If weeds have already invaded your space, we also offer treatments to help get rid of them.