How to Grow Grass in a Weeded Area. Trying to grow grass in a weeded area is a frustrating task that generally provides undesirable results. Weeds are aggressive and invasive plants that choke out grass and flowers. They quickly take over an area and are notoriously hard to get rid of. When you choose to grow grass in … Here are the 11 critical steps to restoring a lawn full of weeds! Read on for all the tips and tricks of weed killer, grass growth, and lawn maintenance.
How to Grow Grass in a Weeded Area
Trying to grow grass in a weeded area is a frustrating task that generally provides undesirable results. Weeds are aggressive and invasive plants that choke out grass and flowers. They quickly take over an area and are notoriously hard to get rid of. When you choose to grow grass in an area overrun by weeds, you essentially have to start fresh by establishing new turf.
Remove the weeds from the area by either manually pulling them out of the ground or applying weed killer to the area. Hand-pulling weeds is safer for the soil, but removing all the roots can be difficult. Chemical weed killer kills the weeds and their roots, but may damage grass seed and leave pesticide residue in the soil, if you plant the seeds too soon after the herbicide application. If you choose to use weed killer, wait 2 to 3 weeks before planting new grass seed.
Till the top 6 inches of soil with a soil tiller. You can rent or purchase soil tillers at home improvement centers and rental yards. After the tiller turns under the dead weeds and soil, rake the soil with a garden rake to level the area as much as possible. Remove large rocks and break up clumps of soil.
Cover the soil with the correct grass seed for your location and the amount needed to cover the area. For example, some parts of the San Francisco Bay area work best with warm-season grasses — such as St. Augustine, buffalo or zoysia grass — while other Bay areas thrive with cool-season grasses such as tall fescue and perennial rye. Use your gloved hands to distribute the seeds evenly over areas smaller than 150 square feet. For larger areas, use a seed spreader.
Apply a thin layer – about 1/4 inch – of high-quality topsoil over the grass seed. Applying too thick and the seeds have a hard time germinating. Attach a garden hose sprayer with a mist option to a water hose. Dampen the top 6 inches of the soil with the water hose set on mist. Using a mist of water instead of a stream will prevent the seeds from washing away.
Continue watering the soil two to three times a day until the seeds have germinated and the grass is about 1/2-inch high. After germination occurs, you can cut back watering to once every day or two. Never let the seeds dry out.
How to Restore a Lawn Full of Weeds
Almost every homeowner despises weeds growing on their lawn, and most people have to battle with dandelions, crabgrass, and other pesky weeds every year. The majority of property owners long for lush green grass that isn’t patchy, so knowing how to get rid of weeds and prevent them all together is crucial for maintaining a yard that your neighbors envy. Our how-to guide will aid in the restoration of your weed-ridden property to the beautiful green lawn most homeowners dream about.
Pulling every dandelion stem and clover bud sounds dreadful, and the pesky weeds will likely return if you didn’t get every root. Although there are many DIY methods for getting rid of weeds and preventing regrowth, you might want to hire a professional for the best and fastest results. TruGreen is one of the best lawn care companies for the job, providing affordable plans for beautifying your yard with proven, guaranteed weed control results.
11 Simple Steps to Restoring a Lawn Full of Weeds
Getting rid of weeds on your lawn and keeping them away isn’t rocket science, but knowing the specific steps to take can prevent wasted time and money in the process. Below are 11 straightforward steps to overcoming your weed problems.
1. Identify the Type of Weeds in Your Lawn
Your first step in conquering weeds in your lawn is to identify which ones have taken root. There are three primary types, each calling for a slightly different approach in some cases. Below are the standard subcategories of lawn weeds.
As the name suggests, broadleaf weeds have wide leaves. They usually grow in soil that has been deprived of nutrients. Common lawn weeds include clover, dandelions, oxalis, ground ivy, chickweed, henbit, thistle, and dollarweed.
Grassy weeds are more challenging to distinguish from the grass blades around them because they look like grass. These weeds are most common in over-watered lawns and where soil compaction occurs. Some species of grassy weeds include crabgrass, foxtail, quackgrass, and goosegrass.
Grass-like weeds also look like grass from a distance, but up close, you’ll notice that each leaf is tubular. These weeds thrive where the grass is cut too short, the soil is compacted, or overwatering is common. Some grass-like weeds include wild onion, garlic, nutsedge, and nutgrass.
2. Clean and Mow
Your next step will be to clean up your property. If you have a few broadleaf weeds, you can remove them by hand as long as you make sure to get the root as well. Total manual removal will likely be too time-consuming if you have grassy or grass-like weeds.
Once you’ve removed as many weeds as possible, you can mow your lawn to about three inches to prepare for the herbicide application.
3. Select the Best Herbicide for the Job
Now you’re ready to choose a weed killer, and the weeds you identified in step one should inform your decision. If you had the foresight to recognize the weeds that gave you trouble last year, you could apply a pre-emergent herbicide before they come up this year. Pre-emergent herbicides prevent weed seeds from taking root so that you can avoid them altogether. Best of all, they won’t kill grass that is already established.
You’ll need a post-emergent herbicide if weeds have already taken root in your lawn. Many of these products — all non-selective herbicides — also kill healthy grass, so be careful in your selection. A selective weed killer designed to kill the weeds you have an issue with is more likely to be safe to use on your lawn and even in garden beds.
4. Apply the Weed Control
You’re finally ready to apply the herbicide, but you’ll want to make sure you do so correctly. Timing is everything when it comes to successful weed control. First, avoid applying it under the intense sun, as this combination can burn your grass. Avoid using it if it’s supposed to rain in the following 24 to 48 hours, as the precipitation can wash away the active chemicals before it has a chance to work.
If you get a liquid weed killer, you can use a garden sprayer to apply it. Follow the container’s dilution instructions and get an even application over all critical areas. If you have a granular weed killer, apply it to large areas with a broadcast spreader or too tight spaces by hand or with a drop spreader.
5. Be Patient
Most weed killers — especially natural and organic herbicides — take time to take effect. You should expect to wait at least a week before seeing results, and some products can take up to four weeks before you start to notice fewer weeds in your lawn. Take note of the timeline indicated on your product’s packaging, and be prepared to wait a bit.
Additionally, some homeowners make the mistake of putting down grass seed shortly after applying herbicide. A pre-emergent herbicide will prevent new weeds from sprouting and stop grass seed from germinating, so you’ll waste time and money on the seed. Plan to wait at least four weeks between applying preventative weed control and seeding.
6. Rake and Till Your Soil
Once you notice the weeds in your lawn start to turn brown, use a rake to remove as many as possible and till the soil in any bare spots in preparation for seeding.
7. Dethatch and Aerate Your Lawn
You might need to dethatch and aerate the soil for treated areas that still have healthy grass. Begin by using a rake or specialized dethatching rake to remove the thatch — dead grass roots, grass clippings, mulch, leaves, etc. — between your soil and your grass.
Once dethatch your lawn, use an aerator or hire a professional lawn care company to aerate the soil to reduce compaction. This process will allow new grass and established grass to get nutrients and water from the soil.
8. Apply Soil Amendment
Completing a soil test will show you if your soil pH is suitable for growing grass . If not, apply your soil amendment according to the product instructions.
9. Plant Seeds or Lay Down Sod
Once your soil is prepped, you can use a garden spreader to lay down grass seed or lay sod instead. Traditional seeding is far more affordable but takes up to 12 weeks with some grass species to yield a full, beautiful lawn. Laying down sod provides an instant new lawn, but the cost can be about four times as much or more. Both seeding and sod require intensive maintenance afterward. Regardless of which method you use, complete this step in the correct growing season for your species.
10. Water Your Lawn
Whether you’ve seeded or laid down sod, you need to keep your soil moist — but not soggy. Use a sprinkler to water each area three to four times a day for 10 minutes each.
11. Maintain Your Lawn
Once your lawn is fully established, you need to maintain it to keep it weed-free in the future. Weeds thrive in compacted or nutrient-deprived soil and in grass that is overwatered or cut too short. It would be best to aerate at least once a year to reduce soil compaction, fertilize regularly to maintain the proper nutrient balance for a healthy lawn, complete infrequent, deep waterings, and mow your lawn at the highest mower setting to avoid weeds from returning. Year-round care is essential to keep your property looking green and healthy.
Reasons Why Your Lawn is Full of Weeds
Many homeowners assume that weeds in their lawns are inevitable, but certain things welcome them. We’ll discuss these below and how to avoid these issues on your property.
Weeds can’t thrive where healthy grass competes for resources. Keeping your lawn at least three inches tall can help reduce the likelihood of weeds taking over.
Grass can’t absorb sufficient nutrients and water from compacted soil, but weeds can. Aerating your lawn once a year will help reduce compaction and make it challenging for weeds to thrive.
Not Enough Water
Insufficient water will stress your grass, leaving minimal competition for weeds. Water deeply and infrequently will create the ideal environment for your grass to keep weeds at bay.
Professional Lawn Care Services
Some homeowners are happy doing DIY lawn care , but many prefer to hand the reins to a professional. Lawn care services always cost more than doing the work yourself, but they often yield better and faster results and, in the best-case scenarios, come with a satisfaction guarantee.
If you’re looking for the best full-service lawn company to handle fertilization for your property, we recommend TruGreen. This company has a wealth of plans and add-on services to provide customization options, affordable prices, a nationwide coverage area, and guarantees your satisfaction with its work.