Are you worried about your weedy lawn? If so, then read our step-wise guide about how to fix a weedy lawn. Follow the simple steps and get the lawn of your dreams!
Nothing could be more depressing for a gardener more than a lawn full of weeds and barren patches. If you are also one of those sufferers, one thing that you need to know is that you cannot restore a vibrant green and even lawn unless you brush out the ugly weeds from there.
Fortunately, we have various weed killers and herbicides in the market which can help us to get rid of these problems within weeks. However, one thing which all the herbicides share is that they are extremely toxic for even the healthy plants of your lawn. Even the label says they are not, they are toxic to some extent. Thus, to get the most out of them, you need to use them properly and adopt all the precautionary measures.
But, what is the right method to repair a weedy lawn? What kind of herbicides can you use? And what’s the most appropriate method of doing so? We tried to answer these and many other relevant questions in this article with the help of our gardening experts.
To make the process even easier and faster for you, we have proposed a complete step-wise guide so you could better understand the procedure and get a garden to be proud of.
Step-wise guide to repair a weedy lawn
Step 1: understand the problem
Before moving towards purchasing a suitable solution, you need to identify the type of weed you are having in your lawn. Remember that there’s not any one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to the herbicide.
All the herbicides available in the market are designed to target specific weeds. In other words, you cannot kill broadleaf weed with a weed killer that is targeted to kill dandelions. So, the very first step is to identify the weeds ruining your lawn.
The common types of weeds, based on the seed production span or life cycle, are annual, perennial, and biannual. As the name implies, annual weeds produce their seeds in one year, biennial weeds take two years or two seasons for seed production, while perennial weeds can produce their seeds and keep on growing all year long.
Step 2: Collect the supplies
Once you understand your problem, you can effortlessly buy the appropriate solution for it. However it’s not only the suitable weed killer that you will need to purchase instead, you have to collect other essential supplies as well.
Speaking of herbicide selection, then it should be based on the class of weed deteriorating your yard and the phase of their life cycle. Based on the life cycle’s phase, herbicides are made post-emergent and pre-emergent.
The post-emergent herbicides kill the weeds after they get completely established while the pre-emergent weed killers attack the weeds before they sprout out of the land.
Another thing that is important to mention here is that if more than 50% of your lawn is stuffed with weeds, you might have to sacrifice the existing grass since sweeping that huge saturation of pesky weeds without doing so is not possible.
But you could reseed your lawn once getting done by the weed eradication and since at that stage, there would not be any hindering agent, new grass will sprout out faster and thus, getting a greener and denser yard would not take too much time.
Step 3: Remove the weeds manually
Once you collect all the supplies, the next step is to free up your yard from weeds manually. Doing so will help you get rid of almost all the long, pesky weed plants. You could either pluck them out of the soil manually or use a hand shovel to tackle the task quickly.
Remember, removing or slashing only the external part of the weed will not be enough since the plant will regrow once it would get suitable conditions. To solve the problem permanently, you have to remove the entire plant from the soil, including roots. To ensure the complete removal, you better should use a weeding trowel.
Once done with shovelling the weeds out, dispose of them properly so you won’t replant them while mowing your yard afterwards. Keep in mind that mostly the weed killers work as contact killers and to get the best outcomes, you need to maximise their contact with the weed. Thus, do not mow or cut the grass down, present in your yard before or after applying the herbicide since it will decrease the surface area.
Step 4: Apply the weed killer
Now come to the most crucial step of lawn restoration; applying the weed killer. What is the best method to apply the herbicide depends upon the type of product you’ve purchased.
For example, if you have a granular herbicide, you need to dampen the weed plants and soil which will help the granules stick to their area of application. On the other hand, if you are using concentrated herbicide, you better mix the recommended quantity of concentrate in water gallons and sprinkle the solution all over the weed plants, using a sprayer.
However, before starting the application process, you better should read all the safety instructions mentioned over the product labelling to get informed about its associated dangers and toxicity level. Then, wear protective gear including goggles, clothing, and latex gloves.
Also, check the weather forecast before moving towards the weed eradication process. In addition to the rain, you should also need to get knowledge about the wind pattern. Remember, the heavy winds could lead to particle drift which, in turn, not only reduce the efficacy of herbicides but also give rise to so many safety hazards.
Once done, remove the clothes and take a bath. Clean all the tools you’ve used during application, including sprayer, nozzles, and even your protective gears.
Step 5: Prepare the lawn for reseeding
After two to three weeks, your lawn will be 100% weed-free and you can start preparing the soil to sow the grass seeds. Start with aerating the land where you need to plunge out the soil to reduce the compactness.
For this purpose, you can use a manual tube that you could dig deep into the soil and pull out, repeatedly. Gas-Powered core aerators are also widely available which can accelerate the whole process for you.
By doing so, the air, water, and fertilisers could better penetrate deep down the land which, in turn, will help your existing grassroots grow extensively and healthy. Leave the yard as it is after aeration for several hours and then, break all the plugs of aeration and thatch using a tiller or power rake.
These appliances are specially designed to bring the soil into the most desirable planting condition by removing all the debris and blocky materials that could hinder seed germination. Raking and tilling also ensure that you have brushed all the dead weed particles out of your land.
Remember, you don’t have to dethatch the lawn completely since a thatch layer of half-inch is beneficial and acts as an insulator against weather extremities, foot traffic, and pest attack.
Step 6: reseeding your lawn
You can choose different types of grass seeds based on climate conditions and maintenance needs. Once chosen, remove the topsoil of the land and start applying the seeds. For even seed distribution, we recommend you to use a broadcast spreader. Otherwise, you might end up with a patchy lawn.
If your lawn is also bordered by garden beds, you should make sure not to drop any grass seed into them. For this purpose, you should use a drop seed spreader to apply seeds to flower beds. Also, make sure to spread the seeds only in one direction. In this way, you won’t get a directionless and abrupt grass pattern.
Once done with spreading seeds, rake the seeds lightly but thoroughly to ensure even distribution and apply the top-dressing of ¼ inch thickness. Lastly, spread a suitable plant feed over the topsoil to facilitate the seed germination process.
Step 7: proper maintenance to prevent weed regrowth
Remember that the most common reasons for weed invasion are irregular watering patterns and compacted soil. Both the factors work together to provide a favourable environment for weed growth.
Thus, to prevent your new lawn from weed invasion all over again, you should better schedule a proper watering and mowing pattern. Water your lawn twice a week so the roots could grow deeper and develop into a robust and extensive root system. For the first three weeks of grass sprucing out, you have to try your best to keep the soil damp.
Likewise, if you won’t mow your lawn regularly, its soil gets compacted due to high foot traffic. Resultantly, the air, water, and other nutrients couldn’t reach the roots. To prevent this from happening, mow your grass, once it reaches the height of three inches or more, at the highest setting but, don’t cut the grass too short.
After mowing for the first time, you can water the lawn at a normal pace, in the morning or evening, but still, you need to ensure that the soil is damp till ½ inches.