There is nothing worse than a lawn that has not been properly cared for and has
ugly weeds popping up all over the place. The first step to keeping your lawn free of
weeds is prevention.
If you are preparing a site to plant a new lawn, be sure to get rid of any
weeds or weed roots by turning the soil to a depth of six inches and removing any
tubers or roots you see. Any weeds that may be present below six inches will not be
able to grow. To make the lawn inhospitable to any potential weeds, balance its pH
so that it is slightly on the acidic side. And be sure to establish a dense, lush lawn,
which will be better equipped to out-compete any weeds.
Once your lawn is established, keep it well fertilized and watered so it does
not become susceptible to invasions by weeds. If you see any bald patches or areas
that are turning brown, overseed them with new grass right away, so there are no
spots where weeds can gain a foothold.
Try to avoid mowing your lawn much shorter than 1/3 of its height. Doing so
can seriously weaken the grass, which will make it harder for the lawn to resist encroachment by weeds. If possible, try to have a strip of ground between the lawn
and the rest of the garden that can serve as a buffer from any weeds making their
way into the lawn from flower beds.
But with even your best efforts, the occasional weed seed will wind up in your
lawn, and eventually you will see an ugly weed cropping up here or there. When
that happens, there are a few steps you can take to make sure the encroachment
does not become a full scale invasion.
First – any time you do see a weed, remove it immediately. Using a garden
fork or trowel, dig down underneath the weed to remove not only the stem, but also
the entire primary and lateral root systems. Many weeds have the ability to spread
underground by sending out stolons or rhizomes, and the vast majority of them are
also able to grow back aggressively from just a part of the root. So make sure
nothing is left behind.
You can also kill weeds in your lawn by having it treated with chemical
herbicides, or by using a store-bought weed killer to spot treat weeds. Spraying
weeds as they crop up will kill them off with certainty, and having the lawn treated
completely will ensure that no weeds are able to become established over the entire
growing season, although you will have to stay off your lawn for a few days after it
has been treated.
If you would rather avoid using chemical weed-killers, there are other
methods available. You can kill most weeds by pouring boiling water on them, or by
smothering them with newspapers. Flame-treating weeds is a quick and easy way to
kill them off, although if you are not careful you run the risk of scorching your lawn