If you track the hours you’ve spent in your garden, you’d probably notice that there is an inordinate amount of weed grown there and you probably think of calling a war against weed. As every homeowner has to deal with this battle of making their lawn weed-free. In this article, I will explain how to get rid of weeds without killing grass.
These weeds are very opportunist, they take roots whenever they find a small space or some sunlight. Even some people have accepted weed as an alternative to grass but do you even know that a single redroot pigweed can produce up to 30,000 seeds and these seeds and they can remain alive in the soil for almost 70 years and can produce more weed when mature or sprout and can overrun your perennial border anytime.
You can’t win in eliminating the weeds as they grow back but with a good strategy and some good methods you can control the growth of weeds. Weed seeds need sunlight to germinate. In that case, a good strategy could be to grow a dense or vigorous lawn. As the thick grass will crowd the weed and the weed will not grow due to lack of sunlight. It is better that you take care of the lawn and do proper maintenance right after you witness some weeds and try to pluck them out before they grow mature. Try out your below-mentioned tips for a well-groomed garden that all your neighbors envy.
How to get rid of weeds without killing grass
Step 1: Examine
Before starting the process of weed elimination you should know what are weeds, their type and how they could destroy your garden? There are many different types of weed and you can’t destroy them without knowing about them. Types of weed include crabgrass, dandelions, ivy, clover, bluegrass, and chickweed. Some weeds are a remedy for wounded ground that are in a plantless state but some weeds if they grow in a large number can destroy your garden. So being armed with a better understanding of weed could make you win every future skirmish and you could make educated decisions for the betterment of your lawn and the right strategies to get rid of weed without killing grass.
Step 2: Choose a treatment
To go into depth firstly all you have to know what type of grass is grown in your lawn whether it is cool-season grasses or warm-season grasses. Both types of grass require different care. In case if you have Warm-season grasses then the best time for the application of fertilizer in spring and summer.
And the required temperature to thrive will be around 85°F and 95°F. These types of grasses are mostly found in the Southeast, Southwest, Deep South, and Gulf Coast areas. Whereas the availability of cool-season grasses mostly in North East, Midwest, and Pacific Northwest areas. Fall and early spring will be the best time to fertilize such types of grasses.
Soil test: the best initiative towards your lawn health will be a patch soil test. As soil plays a pivotal role in the growth of plants in upholding and maintaining an upright stature, also provide them nutrients to ensure their growth. While testing you have to look for the acidity and basicity of the soil. Ph scale will measure between 0 to 14. As excess of everything is bad and deficiency has also harmed plants.
Step 3: Feed the lawn
Feeding the lawn with the necessary and essential nutrients will be the first and vital step leading to the growth of evergreen lawn, otherwise susceptible to diseases yellowish leaves, and further chemicals accumulated in the grass which may be the cause of the appearance of weeds and mosses.
For the lustrous and greenish grass and to ensure optimum and maximize growth of lawn, feeding should be done heavily in fall and lightly in the late spring season. Fertilization should be done before the grass is going to its peak growth phase or it should be done before the temperature gets too hot.
Mowing should be done periodically before the application of fertilizer. Fertilizers are a type of chemical substance that may be of natural or synthetic origin applied to the soil and tissues (collenchyma, sclerenchyma, cortex, and pith) used by plant pathologists to increase the productivity of yield crops and improve the quality of the land. Fertilizer contains all the essential elements which may include
Nitrogen: it is the macronutrient for the dense and vigorous growth of lawn, the building block of plant proteins and enzymes. Nitrogen also plays a role in the formation of chlorophyll which is responsible for the green color in plants.
Potassium: makes the grass durable and helps to maintain turgidity.
Phosphorus: strongest root development with time.
Step 4: Maintain the lawn
When it comes to the lawn, everyone has a dream of a clean and sound full lawn in front of their eyes every time. But the matter of thought is that everything needs care, what you feed in will come out. As the lawn requires special treatment seasonally and occasionally.
Proper maintenance and nutritional supplements will give you fruitful benefits throughout. Fertilizing should be done right before the growing season of plants begins. Watering the lawn frequently and keeping the soil moist is also necessary for a good landscape bed. Mowing lawn before the application of fertilizer and removing thatch is necessary for lawn maintenance.
Reasons why weed come in lawn
Weeds can grow when the situation is favorable such as low turf areas, soil moisture, specific temperatures, and thin grassy areas. They can grow in a very small place and can make their living in the road cracks and sidewalks. They can stay in the soil for many years before they germinate or pop out on the ground.
And during the season they can actively grow thousands of seeds per plant and can disperse them throughout the season. There could be many reasons for the growth of weeds such as poor maintenance of the lawn, improper fertilizing, low-quality grass seeds brought from the store, and soil brought in for new planting. Here is the classification of different types of weed according to their growth layout that will help you to understand their growth pattern and preemptive ways to get rid of those unwanted plants.
Types of Grass weed
Different grass weeds are classified into three groups to account for their growth layout and their better understanding. Some of them are easier to get rid of than others.
Annual weeds include hairy bittercress, oxalis, groundsel, and chickweeds. These types of weed grow once in a year by germination and setting seeds and die on their own at the end of their life cycle.
Biennial weeds include clover, wild carrot, and prickly lettuce. These kinds of weeds have a two years life cycle. In the first year, the seed germinates and transforms into a leafy plant. And after a year that leafy plant turns into a flower that produces or spreads more seeds that starts the new life cycle of the plant seed.
Perennial weeds include dandelion, thistle, and ground ivy. They grow in multiple seasons and can grow with setting seed or by their roots systems that lay deep into the soil.
Weed is a common culprit when it comes to sullying the appearance of a perfectly manicured lawn. Sometimes the growth of weed is a clue. They cite the problem in your landscape.
Such as ground ivy grows where the soil surface is damp and also those places where sunlight could enter and are too shady for the growth of healthy grass. Solve these land problems so that healthy grass could make its way and the landscape could discourage weed. Getting rid of weed is not as difficult as it may seem and with few good techniques you can jump-start before weed becomes a problem.
If you have a small lawn and the weed is not in overwhelming quantity, hand weeding is the best choice for you. While hand weeding is not very effective if the weed has gotten out of hand.
Pull the weed with your hand, try to hold it from the base of the plant to make sure to completely remove its roots. In the case of broadleaf weed, this can work wonders whenever you see a broadleaf weed pop up into your grass, pull them with your hands before letting them mature to become flowers and to make more seeds.
Weeds grow early in moist soil so after drenched rain make sure to equip yourself well with the tools and go to your lawn to pull the weeds. Perennial weeds are crucial to finding out as soon as possible because weeds like dandelion, when mature their roots lay down into the soil and its almost impossible to hand weed them completely and if the roots remain in the soil they could grow a new plant that will make more seeds from which new sprouts will grow.
Pull repeatedly whenever you see a weed sprout on your ground to eventually kill the weed. Many tools are also available in the market for hand weeding like a stand-up weeder and don’t forget to fill the bare spot with healthy grass seeds from where you plucked the weed as it won’t give the weed seeds a chance to grow.
The simple technique of hand weeding
Perennial weeds such as dandelions should be pulled out when they are young. To remove them make the soil moist and use a fishtail spade or a dandelion digger, easily available in the market and push it into the soil and make its angel towards the center of the soil to dig the dandelion from the roots instead of breaking the roots. Loose the soil around it and pry the weed by pulling it upward. Once the weed is out, patch the ground with the right seeds and keep the soil moist until the new grass grows two inches.
Flame the weed
Flaming the weed is another type you can rely on to make your lawn weed-free. A gas flamer is needed for this process that is easily available in the market and this flamer burns the weeds until their cell wall is broken. The weed may not look charred at the very instant but they will die after some hours. It is a good tool to kill young annual weeds but as perennial weed roots lay down into the soil the flamer can’t burn their roots so there is a chance that they grew again. They need proper and repeated treatment whenever they grow up.
Apply corn gluten meal
Another amazing or nontoxic way of removing weeds is to apply the corn gluten meal you can apply it on your grass and it works better than many toxic herbicides. Corn gluten meal consists of nitrogen that prevents the seeds of weeds from germinating and sprouting while if you have planted some good seeds you wanted to keep it could also affect their growth. Apply the corn gluten meal onto the soil before you see weeds in your lawn in early spring. It does not work for the matured weed as it will become the weeds’ feed and gonna help the weed grow and create a problem for you.
Lay down mulch
The best way to prevent weed growth is to pull them before they sink their roots through and into the ground. Weeds can quickly get out of hand so it’s better to take quick actions to prevent weed from invading your lawn. Mulch can be a good option to prevent weeds as it deprives the weed of sunlight.
Apply mulch to your flower beds, patios and walk away onto the soil. Mulch will keep the soil shady, cool, and moist which makes the survival of weeds harder. Organic mulch also hosts cricket and carabid beetles that will seek out thousand of weed seeds.
But it is important to replenish the mulch as soon as possible because some sunlight can pass through the crunchy mulches that help the weed to grow and you’re gonna realize it very late when a lace of weed will appear on the mulches. Try to keep the layer of mulch as thick as 2 inches but not 3 inches as it will deprive the soil of oxygen.
You can use many different types of mulches whether you choose wood chips, bark nuggets, straw, or even pine needles. These mulches are gonna restrict weed growth. You can also use cardboard, newspaper, and light-blocking sheet to cover the soil depriving sunlight, and place a thin layer of mulch over it, this will take the weed way back and can prevent its growth.
Herbicides are now most commonly and widely used to prevent the re-emergence of weeds in your garden or landscape. But there is not a single product that could eliminate the broadleaf weeds. Selective herbicides are now widely used for controlling weed growth. These herbicides disrupt the natural chemical process happening inside the weed and mimics a natural plant chemical that causes the uncontrolled growth of weed. The weed plant can’t handle the excessive and quicker growth and dies.
Some selective herbicides affect the process of photosynthesis in which plants make food from sunlight or air for their growth and those selective herbicides disrupt the natural process of plant growth and weed starves to death.
Then there are nonselective herbicides that affect the enzymes in the plant cells. These herbicides destroy their cells and produce toxic compounds inside the plant that makes them die. The most common type of nonselective herbicide is a chemical named glyphosate also known as round up.
Before you choose the herbicide for your garden make sure to research well about herbicides before you buy them. As herbicides are made to affect or destroy specific plants and if you don’t use them wisely it can destroy your lawn without causing any harm to the weed.
First, know your weed well, find out which kind of weeds are popping into your lawn and then choose the right herbicides for them. Below are mentioned some handpicked selection of the best herbicides for you to keep your lawn weed-free without killing the grass.
1. Roundup for lawns 6 ready to spray
Round up lawn for 6 is an effective herbicide for the lawn weeds. It is best to use on southern grasses that also includes florathem and centipede.
It kills 93 types of weeds that include dollar weed, dandelion, clover, and yellow nutsedge. It kills the weed, not the grass also flourish the root of weed completely and it’s guaranteed you can also purchase it online.
It also comes with a consumer’s warranty that means for any reason if you are not satisfied with the product after use, send the sellers original proof of the purchase and they will refund your amount.
This comes in a comfort wand with a good nozzle to spray equally and quickly all over your lawn. The bottle can be refilled after it ends. If you are fed up with hand weeding and it does not even work for you now it’s time for you to buy Roundup 6 ready to spray(Southern).
2. PBI/Gordon 652400 Speed Zone Lawn Weed Killer
PBI/Gordon 652400 Speed Zone Lawn Weed Killer, 20-Ounce – Brown/A is a quick lawn weed killer. If you want to get rid of unwanted weed grown in your lawn this could be the right item for you to buy.
This comes with a guarantee that it will kill the weed within a few hours and reseed within two hours. It’s perfect for large property owners as it can cover 14,000 to 18,000 square feet.
It is effective for both common and troublesome weed species in turfgrass. It does not affect the lawn grass and is good for cool weather. But there is a restriction regarding the shipment of this product.
This product can is shipped to the following states AK, DC, MA, NJ, and VT. You can also buy PBI/Gordon 652400 Speed Zone Lawn Weed Killer, 20-Ounce – Brown/A from the given link.
3. Gordon’s Ornamec 170 Grass Herbicide, 32 Ounces
Gordon’s Ornamec 170 Grass Herbicide, 32 Ounces is designed to prevent weed and for the maintenance of landscape beds. It is designed to reduce the risk of ornamental plant injury.
It is a type of selective herbicide that selectively controls the emerged annual grasses such as panicums, goosegrass, crabgrass, foxtails, and sandbur. Just one use of the herbicide can stop the weed growth within 48 hours while it takes 2 to 3 weeks to die completely.
This herbicide also works wonders for stubborn perennial weeds such as bermudagrass, quack grass, torpedo grass, and johnsongrass. The product is also highly rated by the people and you could also get one Gordon’s Ornamec 170 Grass Herbicide, 32 Ounces by just clicking the given link.
4. Bonide (BND7458) – Grass Beater Concentrate
Bonide (BND7458) – Grass Beater Concentrate, Over-the-Top Grass and Weed Killer (8 oz.) is a systematic killer that kills only the bad weed and does not affect the desirable plants.
This grass beater takes out grassy weed that is harmful to your lawn and is great to use on vegetable gardens, ground covers, flower beds, and trees as it does not contain any toxic chemicals.
It is easy to use just add a small amount of grass beater to water and apply everywhere as described on the label. Use it almost for 30 days from harvest. Once it is applied properly throughout the garden it is going to control the weed growth and unwanted grass and will leave better and long-lasting results.
This is also known as the post-emergence herbicide and is a broad-spectrum product for the control of many types of weeds such as annual or perennial weeds in grass turf.
5. Bonide (BND60476) – Weed Beater Complete
Weed Killer Granules for Lawn and Garden, Post and Pre Emergence Application (10 lb.)
This product contains weed killer grains that offer more than 50,000 square feet of protection from weed with just 10 pond grains. These grains take care of both pre-emergent and post-emergent grassy or broadleaf weeds.
It offers protection from even stubborn weeds such as crabgrass, nutsedge, goosegrass, and ground ivy. These grains systematically deal with these weeds and affect their leaves to the bottom of their roots. Unless other weed killer concrete formulas this product is available in dry grains form and is suitable for both warm and cold weather grass and works equally on both.
It is easy to use and you can use it right after you receive it. you don’t have to do any hard work for its application. Apply as directed on the label for best results. You can buy Bonide (BND60476) – Weed Beater Complete, Weed Killer Granules for Lawn and Garden, Post and Pre Emergence Application (10 lb.) from the given link at a very affordable price.
Contaminating your lawn with harmful chemicals is not an idea, even if you are not an environmentalist you may know the hazards of using harmful chemicals. And these chemical products to treat weed worsen the problem when you have kids or pets or an edible garden nearby.
In that case, you should try some organic alternatives to chemical herbicides. There are various homemade remedies you could use for a weed-free lawn. All the ingredients used in these mixtures may be found at home otherwise you can buy them from anywhere as they are easily available and relatively cheap.
1 gallon of vinegar (5% acetic acid)
1 cup of salt
1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap
The kitchen vinegar recipe is simple but also effective to some sort if used properly it can work in some capacity with few limitations. Experts say that people should be careful while using vinegar in their gardens as there are potential problems with using vinegar.
Its recipe is simple, take 1 gallon of vinegar (5% acetic acid ), mix one cup of salt, and a tablespoon of dishwashing soap on the emphasis salt making its low concentration effective. Put it into a spray bottle and spray over the weed. It will burn the weed but under some circumstances such as warm, dry, or sunny days. Repeated sprays will be needed to eliminate the weed.
Essential oils recipe
1 tablespoon of Essential oil of orange or clove
1 cup of distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon of dishwasher liquid
Essential oil recipes are another effective remedy for killing weed without killing grass. For this, it takes 1 tablespoon of either essential oil of orange or essential oil of clove, mixes it into a cup of distilled white vinegar and one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid.
Put the mixture into the spray bottle and spray directly to the weeds. But again this can be effective if you own a small lawn and you’ve witnessed a few weeds in your garden. Apply it on the weed and be sure not to spray it on other plants.
One cup vodka
6 cup of water
Vodka recipes for killing weeds are also very effective. Add one cup of vodka to 6 cups of water and add the mixture into the spray bottle. Mix it well and spray it directly to weed, especially those that are under direct sunlight.
The weed is gonna dry out after a few hours and will die soon. Do avoid spraying this mixture on delicate flowers because it will dry them out too.