Are weeds ruining your lawn? There are many types and brands of weed control available for all types of weeds.
Whether you want to maintain a safe environment for your kids or pets while dealing with these stubborn and uninvited guests, too busy to go to the store, or you just want the cheapest way to get rid of them, there are tons of ways to get rid of weeds in grass. Most of the organic ways to get rid of weeds can kill your grass too so you need to be careful in the process or you may kill your prized turf.
Proper lawn care
As a preventative measure, the best way to get rid of weeds is to keep your grass healthy by maintaining proper lawn care. This includes appropriate watering.
When to water
The best way to water is deeply and less frequently, two to three times per week in the morning. You should be giving your lawn one to one and a half inches of water per week for your grass to develop a stronger root system.
When to mow
This also includes proper mowing, which means cutting your grass not too short or at the recommended height for your variety of turfgrass to shade weed seed underneath from the sun and prevent germination and also allowing grass blades to take sunlight as much as possible.
Other proper lawn care maintenance includes fertilization, dethatching, and core aeration at recommended frequency.
One of the most popular organic methods to get rid of weeds is using vinegar. Vinegar has acetic acid that kills the weeds down to its roots.
Mix a tablespoon or two of Dawn or any available dish soap and a gallon of plain white vinegar with 5% acidity. The dish soap will act as a binder so the vinegar can stick to the weeds. You can even add salt to create a vinegar salt weed killer!
Vinegar is a non-selective herbicide which will dehydrate the plants it is applied to, meaning it will kill whatever it touches, even your grass. This is best for weeds growing in pavement, walkways, or in areas you do not want any vegetation. If you are doing it in your lawn, make sure to get as close as you can to the targeted weed before spraying. You can see the impressive result in as little as 30 minutes. This mixed solution will give you three to four days of dead and brown weeds but it is not a permanent solution as weeds or grass will grow back up in the next couple of days, particularly in perennial species. You can do it again before weeds recovers and can eventually kill them off.
Salt, vinegar, and dish soap mixture
You can combine one gallon of vinegar, one cup of salt, and one tablespoon of Dawn dish soap for more concentration. Using salt is an inexpensive and effective way to get rid of weeds. Just like vinegar, salt dehydrates plants and disrupts the internal water balance of plant cells. It absorbs the moisture, preventing it from reaching the roots which inhibits growth. Just like vinegar, salt is non-selective too.
With this mixture, make sure to spot-spray targeted weeds if you do not want to kill every plant in that area. Another effective way to do it is directly applying salt on the ground or spread unto the unwanted grass. This is best done for invasive weeds that grow on your pavement or walkways, and in between patio bricks or blocks.
For using salt, vinegar, or a combination of both with a dish soap, it is recommended to do it under the heat of the sun. The sunlight will support the mixture in dehydrating the plants. This method will still work if done in a cooler temperature but might not be as effective if there is a heat of the sun.
Weed control fabric
Landscape fabric can be made of all kinds of materials, like linen, polyester, or recycled plastic. Usually, it’s a woven cloth laid in garden beds to help keep weeds at bay. It is also known as sheets, covers, or weed suppressing membranes.
These types of materials are portrayed as permanent, organic, and good for the environment. They are becoming increasingly popular. The fabric is laid down in between the soil and the mulch, with holes in it where you can plant. It separates the soil and mulch, and covers the soil so any weed seed underneath cannot germinate.
The downside is, the fabric may let the water through from above to the soil but it will not allow nutrition from the mulch to go down to the soil easily. While it is true that the fabric can stop the weeds from underneath to germinate, you will still need to take care of the weeds coming from the seeds spread by birds and blown by the winds.
The fabric decomposes after a significant amount of time, but a professional grade landscape fabric can last up to ten years. When this happens, the weeds from below will penetrate the weak fabric. On a positive note, the organic matter on top of the fabric will break down and provide nutrition to the soil.
Some people use newspapers or cardboard instead of landscape fabric. This is more cost effective than using fabric, and they also suppress weeds and decompose sooner, adding organic matter to the soil.
Another way to combat weeds is weedeating. This is the process of using a nylon line to trim patches of grass, trim and eat weeds or to cut grass around trees, bushes, along walls and fence lines to neaten the edges of lawns and borders.
Weedeaters are used in edging the sidewalk, flowerbeds and edge around trees. When you edge using a weedeater, you flip it upside down and use just the very tip of the string to dig up a little bit to establish the edge.
If you are edging a sidewalk, you can position on the grass side or on the sidewalk side. When edging, keep the string trimmer at a 90-degree angle, or you can hold it while the weedeater’s engine is laying on top of your shoulder. The process is the same when you are edging a flower bed and the area around trees.
You can still hand pull weeds from your yard or you can opt to go with any of the methods mentioned above. These methods may not be a permanent solution, and sometimes it can feel like nothing is permanent as weeds are from and spread by nature. The best method for weed removal is to keep your lawn healthy!