Perhaps you recently purchased a home with a neglected yard, or maybe you just let your own yard fall to pieces. Either way, the sight of a lawn taken over by weeds is both unattractive and overwhelming. Knowing where to begin and how to handle a wild and woolly yard can be a challenge – but fear not!
There is most certainly a way back to a vibrant, healthy, weed-free yard! The process may not be terribly quick or easy, but if you follow our step-by-step guide, the results will be more than worth it!
Step 1 – Assess the scale of the issue
When your lawn is overrun with weeds, spending time looking at them is probably not what you’d like to be doing. However, determining the scale of the weed issue in your yard is a crucial first step in the process.
Start by assessing the “big picture” in your lawn to see if your overall weed issue really is as bad as you thought. When you take the time to look closely, is your lawn actually overrun by weeds, or are the weeds isolated in smaller pockets of your yard? The answer to that question will determine your course of action in this process.
If the weeds are just in patches, you may be able to remove them with herbicides and hand pulling – and without disrupting your entire yard.
If, however, weeds really have successfully intermingled themselves throughout your whole yard, you’ll have to restart your lawn from scratch. Killing the weeds and planting new grass takes several weeks, but the results will be well worth the wait.
Step 2 – Identify the weeds
Correctly identifying weeds is a tricky (yet crucial) task. A vast range of weeds can affect your lawn, and, unfortunately, they all require different treatment methods. Some treatments are more effective for certain species of weeds or for specific groups of weeds.
Blindly treating weeds is ineffective and can actually exacerbate the problem.
It is certainly helpful to know whether your weed is an annual or perennial plant. Yet, it is paramount that you determine which weed group your plants belong to. You’ll need to worry about two primary groups of weeds: broadleaf weeds and grassy weeds.
Broadleaf weeds are easier to spot as they usually have leaf and flower growths that make them clearly stand out. Grassy weeds can be tough to remove and tough to notice as they often resemble grass. Check out our guide to common weeds to help you more precisely identify weeds.
Step 3 - Select an appropriate post-emergent herbicide
Post-emergent herbicides are designed to target already established weeds. There is a considerable range of herbicides available, so choosing the right one can be more challenging than you may think. You’ll need to purchase a product that works for your specific type of weed, the current stage in the weeds life cycle, and the season you’re in.
Often properly selecting an effective herbicide requires special training and knowledge, so don’t be afraid to ask a professional for assistance.
If you’re not worried about killing your grass, you also have the option of purchasing a nonselective herbicide. Overall, this is a faster, more efficient product choice if your yard is overrun with weeds since you’ll have to regrow your lawn from scratch anyways.
Step 4 - Apply herbicide
When applying any herbicide product, the number one priority is always reading the label and following the directions. We even recommend reading the label multiple times! Not only is reading the bottle essential for safety but misapplying a product can actually make your yard worse.
Typically, applying herbicides involves spraying or spreading the product onto the weeds. Still, the label will be able to clearly tell you everything you need to know.
Apply the herbicide everywhere that weeds have sprouted. If weeds are only in isolated patches on your lawn, only apply the herbicide directly on those weed areas, so you don’t kill all of your grass.
When applying herbicides, there are a few general tips to be aware of:
Step 5 - Be patient
After applying an herbicide to your lawn, you’ll need to wait for a couple weeks to let the product run its course.
If you attempt to plant grass seed too soon, the herbicide will stop the grass seed growth as it stops weed growth. The label should give you a more specific timeline, but you may have to be patient for up to four weeks.
Step 6 – If it is necessary, plant new grass
If assessing your lawn in step one leads you to determine that your weeds were only present in patches, then you may have some flexibility with this step.
New grass may regrow without assistance if you only applied herbicide to small isolated sections in your lawn. Or you’ll simply need to add a small amount of grass seed or sod to the now dead patches to green them up.
However, if you’ve got nothing left in your yard but brown at this step in the process, it’s time to prepare for planting new grass. A general guideline for planting new grass is as follows:
Step 7 - Maintain a thick healthy lawn with proper lawn care & a weed maintenance plan
Finally, “you can see clearly now the weeds are gone!” Now that you’ve de-weeded your yard and new grass has taken hold, it’s time to set a proper lawn maintenance plan. Weeds can not thrive in a thick, healthy lawn.
Dense turf and fertile soil discourage weed growth. Strong, lush grass is much more capable of fighting off any weeds trying to invade.
How do you create and maintain this thick, vibrant lawn? The formula is simple! Proper mowing and watering is a great place to start, but a strong fertilizer plan is also essential to discourage weeds. Have your lawn aerated twice annually, and keep your landscaping and trees pruned to maintain a thick turf.
Fortunately, there is more than just proper lawn care that can help keep weeds at bay. There are a plethora of pre-emergent herbicides available that are designed to prevent weeds from germinating.
These products are meant to be used in areas with a known weed problem and are applied shortly before spring.
However, the timing and application of pre-emergent products can be tricky. A professional lawn care company is the best option for creating a successful weed maintenance plan.
Ward off weeds with Gecko Green!
Whether your weed problem is small or colossal, Gecko Green is the lawn care company that has your back! Our experienced and knowledgeable technicians are equipped with the top lawn care products available, so they can tackle any weed issue.
Our expert weed control and prevention service is guaranteed to keep your lawn and garden weed-free through every season. Call Gecko Green today for a free quote and ward off weeds for good!