Weeded The Yard: How To Fix A Lawn Full Of Weeds?

How about removing the weeds before they eat the life of our lawn? If you find it boring too, we are on the same page. I tried to simplify all of it for you in a single article. Hop on to check it out. 

Before we dive in, let’s look at steps to make your lawn weed-free!

  1. Importance of weeding 
  2. Identifying the weeds
  3. Choosing the best herbicide 
  4. Step by step guide to removing weeds from the lawn
  5. My tip for divide and rule

Let’s go as deep as the weed does! 

IMPORTANCE OF WEEDING

Everyone hates to see weeds in their lawn including me but weeds are inevitable even in the best-tended lawns. Maybe some of the people tolerate weeds in their lawn but most of us want to pull them out by weeding our lawn.

I hate to weed up my lawn but weeding is a crucial part of making my lawn look healthy and beautiful. Weeded yard approves fast growth and mineral availability to the grass.

weeds in the lawn

Weeding the yard is a simple process where you first identify what type of weeds are growing in your lawn and what herbicides are the best to kill them, after applying the herbicide you remove all the dead or alive weeds from the lawn by pulling them out by hand or with the help of the tool and apply mulch to that area of the lawn to stop weed growth and after a week you do a reseeding to block the growth of the weeds in your lawn.

After the process of weeding is done you need to take of your lawn properly so that your lawn remains in good shape but before maintenance let’s talk about the whole process of how you make your lawn weeded in detail

IDENTIFYING THE WEED

Before weeding your lawn you need to know what kind of weed you are dealing with. If you do weeding without identifying the weed itself your whole process can go to vain as every weed killer herbicide is made to target a specific type of weed so what works on grass-like weed may not work on a broadleaf weed.

Weeds can be identified in multiple categories such as grass-like, broadleaf or grassy.

Category according to sight :

BROADLEAFGRASS-LIKE GRASSY 

  1. Broadleaf – As the name suggests, this kind of weed has broad and flat leaves and you can identify them pretty quickly in your lawn. Some of the common types of broadleaf weeds are:
  1. Grass-like – This type of weed looks similar to grass, with hollow leaves in a triangular or tube shape. Some of the most common types of grass-like weeds are:
  • Nutsedge
  • Wild garlic
  • Wild onion
  1. Grassy – grassy weeds are most difficult to identify as they appear just like normal grass that grows one leaf at a time. Some of the most common grassy weeds are:
  • Foxtail
  • Quackgrass
  • crabgrass

Weeds can also be differentiated into categories based on their life cycle as annual, biennial, or perennial.

Category according to life cycle:

ANNUAL BIENNIAL PERENNIAL 

  1. Annual weeds are such weeds that complete their entire life cycle in one season only and then they die leaving their seeds behind for germination. One of the most common annual weeds is crabgrass.
  1. Biennial weeds live for two years before they completely die and leave behind their seeds to germinate. 
  1. Perennial weeds are much tougher as they grow year after year from their roots and don’t go away. Some of the most common perennial weeds are dandelion weeds.

CHOOSING THE BEST HERBICIDE!

Now you know which type or types of weeds are growing in your lawn. You have 2 options to eliminate them. 

1st – To pull them out by hand and throw them in the compost bin

2nd – Apply a correct herbicide which is specially made to kill the type of grass which your lawn has.

What I recommend for a lawn owner is to first apply a batch of herbicide to the lawn and then start pulling the weeds out when they are dead or partly alive. But before applying a herbicide to your lawn, you need to know certain things about herbicides for proper treatment. 

Herbicides come in two different kinds:

  • Pre-emergent
  • Post-emergent

Pre-emergent herbicide – The main purpose of pre-emergent herbicide is to stop weed seeds from germinating and stop weeds before they sprout. Pre-emergent herbicides can’t kill any grown-up weed in your lawn.  Pre-emergent herbicide is applied at the beginning of the growing season to stop the whole process of weed germination.

Post-emergent herbicide – This herbicide is used in the lawn when you have lots of weeds in it. The main purpose of this herbicide is to kill already grown weeds. This kind of herbicide attacks the roots of the weed and burns them so the essential elements cannot go through.

After you have chosen what kind of herbicide you are going with, you need to check the label first to see that it has your grass mentioned as an exception, or else when you apply the herbicide to your lawn the grass will also die in the process.

But before you apply a herbicide to your lawn there are some pros and cons. Let’s discuss these in detail:

ADVANTAGES OF HERBICIDE DISADVANTAGES OF HERBICIDE 
Applying herbicide helps remove weed from your lawn which effectively makes your lawn looks clean and beautiful.

Herbicides are very fast and you don’t have to wait for a long period to see results. A herbicide shows results effectively in 2 to 3 days and takes no more than a week to kill all of them. 

Herbicide reduces your work in half because you don’t need to pull out every weed from the lawn now. You just need to rake your lawn after a week or so and collect all the dead weed plants and dispose of them. 
Herbicides can also damage or kill other beneficial plants in your lawn if not chosen specifically and can cause harm to your skin if used barehanded. 

You can’t put the dead weed plants in the compost bin as they can have some herbicide left in them and can damage your lawn when you put it in your lawn in the future.

These herbicides are also bad for the environment as they can affect living beings in the soil like earthworms and can also make your soil toxic if put excessively. Leaching of herbicide into water streams or underground can also become harmful as it will make the water toxic. 

Ps: To negate these problems you can go with natural herbicides such as Natural armour weed and grass killer.

STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO REMOVE WEEDS FROM THE LAWN

The steps include:

  1. Rake and till your lawn 
  2. Leave no roots behind
  3. Mulch as you go
  4. Dethatch and aerate
  5. Cleanup
  6. Seed your lawn
  7. Watering is important
  8. Prevent weed from germinating
  9. Make heat your last resort

1) Rake and till your lawn when the soil is wet

After the application of herbicide, you will see that the weeds are turning brown and start dying. Once all the weeds turn brown, it’s time for you to start raking your lawn. Rake up as many weeds as you can first and then use your tilling fork to pull any extra weeds out of the soil in that area to prepare for seeding.

A trick is to first do some watering in your lawn to make the soil moist and then start pulling out the weeds in the lawn, as it will make the whole weed plant come out at once by the roots. It is really easy to pull weeds out from healthy and moist soil rather than soil that is hard and compacted. 

If your lawn’s soil is compacted and hard then aerating and dethatching your lawn first will help it soften a little bit and then add some compost and mulch which will help loosen the soil over time. This process not only makes weed pulling easier but also makes your lawn healthy and beautiful in the long term. 

2) Leave no roots behind

A Weedy yard will last longer and healthier if you pull out the entire roots of the weed plant. If you just rip off the top part of the weed plant or leave some part of it behind in the soil, there is a chance that it will grow back into the lawn. Most of the weed plants can grow back from left behind roots and become even stronger than before. So grab a knife or a weeder to pull out the entire plant.

3) Mulch as you go

I have a trick which I apply whenever I pull out weeds. As you pull out weed from your lawn spread over some good quality composted mulch right away so that it blocks out all the sunlight coming to the soil. There is a reason for doing this, as you pull out the weed, there is a chance that weed seed will also come up with it and spread over the soil and as they get some sunlight and nutrients they will start to germinate. To stop this germination process we spread mulch and wood chips over the soil. Use a fork or a rake to spread the mulch so that seeds won’t have any chance to grow.

4) Dethatch and aerate

Thatch is a beneficial layer that provides some insulation from extreme temperature and changes in soil moisture and makes your lawn more resilient. But on the other hand, if it gets over half an inch or inch then it can create some problems for your lawn as it will block the supply of water and other nutrients to the soil. 

Aerating your lawn will break up that thick layer of thatch and provide the soil access to air, nutrients, and water. To aerate your lawn use a spike aerator to break up the soil.

5) Clean up 

Cleaning your lawn after the weeding process is one of the hardest to do. But what I do to omit this process is that I carry a bag with me from the beginning and put the weeds and everything in the bed as I pull them out so that I don’t have to go all over the lawn again. This way I save a lot of effort and time. You can buy a lightweight and sturdy garden bag to hang on your shoulders from amazon for very little to collect all the weeds and garbage and help you in this process.

6) Seed your lawn

The first thing after you have your lawn weeded is to do the seeding. You need to wait for a week or two to make sure that whatever herbicide you have put in your lawn has been gone from the soil as it will stop the grass seeds from germinating in your lawn and make the whole process worthless.

For seeding in your lawn, you need to first select the right type of seed for your lawn, if you want to go with the same grass as before, you can go with that but I recommend first analyzing what is the best grass for your region and how much effort are you willing to put to take care of your lawn. Some grasses need little to no care but others need proper care and frequent watering. So decide to keep all this in mind.

According to your region, you can decide between cool-season grass or warm-season grass, after you have decided that you need to see how much water is available in your area and according to that you can select a drought-resistant grass or normal grass.

For a proper seeding of your lawn first lay down a thick layer of topsoil and then use a spreader to apply seed to the soil. What I do is, I use a broadcast spreader to spread seeds in my lawn.

At first, I spread half the amount of seeds to my lawn through the spreader and then half of the seeds in the opposite direction to make sure the proper coverage of seed throughout the lawn. Make sure you have applied the right amount of seed to your lawn or your lawn will look thinner and ugly if you have put less quantity of seed in it.

After seeding your lawn, then it’s time for a starter fertilizer to give your lawn a little boost and make the germination process quick and easy for the seed. Starter fertilizer is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus which will help in providing proper nutrients to your lawn and help it grow lush and healthy. You can find these fertilizers on amazon as new lawn fertilizers or starter fertilizers.

7) Watering is important

Watering done properly is very crucial for your lawn. If you flood your lawn with a lot of water then it will probably ruin your lawn as the grassroots will rot due to clogged water in the soil. To make the roots healthy and establish themselves very deep in the soil, you need to water your lawn deep and infrequently.

Watering your lawn twice a week with 2 or 3 inches deep will make it very healthy and strong against drought. The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning as the soil has time to absorb all the water and it didn’t evaporate due to sun heat.

8) Prevent weed from germinating

You don’t need to do weeding in your lawn if it doesn’t have weeds in the first place, and to do that you need to apply pre-emergent to your lawn to keep the weed seeds from germinating. You can use a granular pre-emergent on your lawn and then water it lightly so that the granules are absorbed into the soil.

What pre-emergent does it dissolve into the soil and create a tight layer around the weed seeds that stops the germination process. A single application of pre-emergent lasts around 11 to 13 weeks, after that, you need to apply another batch of pre-emergent to your lawn. 

You can’t apply pre-emergent in your newly seeded lawn as it will also stop the germination process of other seeds as well, so you need to wait until your grass seeds have sprouted and have grown to 0.5 to an inch in length. 

9) Make heat your last resort

After following all the steps above and doing weeding in your lawn, if you are still seeing weeds growing in your lawn then consider burning them out. Burning your lawn is the last resort as it will also damage the grass and the root system of your lawn and you have to start your lawn fresh from the beginning.

After you have burned your lawn properly the next step is to choose the right type of grass for your lawn, seed your lawn and put some starter fertilizer in your lawn. After that, you just need to take care of your lawn by proper watering, fertilizer, and proper mowing. 

MY TIP FOR DIVIDE AND RULE

If you see your lawn full of weeds and think you can’t do it then I have a simple piece of advice for you to remove weeds from a large area.

What do I do when I see my lawn full of weeds? I divide my lawn into different sections and then work on one of the sections for a day every week. This makes the task at hand look small like 30 minutes of pulling weeds then 30 mins of mulching and spreading then 10 mins of cleaning. 

Doing this work 4 to 5 times makes it a lot easier than doing it all at once. 

Another little trick, which I do is whenever I am doing something in my lawn like watering or fertilization or anything else, I spot-check the lawn and pull out weeds I saw here and there, this way my weeding time goes drastically down and saves me a lot of effort. 

HAVE A WEED-FREE LAWN AND LET YOUR PLANTS BE FREE FROM THIEVES 🙂