Weeds can quickly decimate a lawn, leaving it patchy and unattractive in short order. Fortunately, there are many ways to successfully eradicate the weeds in your lawn as these five tips will show.
1. Maintain Grass Height
Tall grass helps shade out weeds and can minimize how many are able to grow in the yard. In a way, taller grass acts as a mulch that suppresses unwanted weed growth. Set the mower blade height to at least 3 inches, although you can go taller if you prefer. When mowing, wait until the grass is at least an inch taller than the set blade height, this way the grass won't suffer as much stress from too-frequent lawn cutting.
2. Encourage Lush Growth
Lush grass also crowds out many weeds, particularly annual weeds. You can encourage lush growth with proper cultural care. Verify that the lawn is getting sufficient water — most lawn grasses require an inch of water provided two or three times a week. Aerating the lawn once a year can also lead to lusher grass since aerating opens the soil to allow in more moisture and air circulation around the roots.
3. Attack Broadleaf Weeds
Broadleaf weeds are some of the least attractive and most damaging in a lawn. The large crowns and leaves crowd out grass, so if you don't get rid of the weeds soon enough, you end up with large bare areas. Use a weed killer that is specially formulated on broadleaf weeds. Most broadleaf herbicides are preemergent, which means they are best applied once the weeds begin to grow but before they become too large.
4. Target Weedy Grasses
Weedy grasses, like crabgrasses, are a different challenge. There are preemergent grass killers that you apply in late winter or early spring that can be successful. Once your lawn begins to grow, you have to switch to a targeted herbicide that is only applied to the weedy grass, otherwise, the herbicide can also kill your lawn grass.
5. Try a New Tactic
If you have a small area where you just can't seem to fully eradicate the weeds and grow a lush lawn, it may be time to abandon grass in that spot. Replace the lawn with a dense groundcover, such as ground ivy, or consider installing a garden bed that is lined with a weed prevention fabric.
For more help, contact a lawn care and weed prevention service in your area like Texas Green Turf.