Weeds pose one of the biggest threats to your lawn and landscape this year. They work around the clock as thieves, stealing important nutrients from your grass and plants, and they use those nutrients to grow, germinate, and spread.
Knowing how to stop and prevent the growth, germination, and spread of weeds is critical to the overall health and appearance of your lawn and landscape. Here is how you can not only eliminate weeds this spring, but also prevent them from having any impact on your lawn going forward.
Eliminating the Weeds
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The two best ways to go about eliminating weeds from your lawn are hand-pulling and post-emergent herbicide applications. If the amount of weeds isn’t overwhelming, hand-pulling is the best way to go. Grab the base of the weed, twist, and pull straight up from the ground. Doing so will ensure that the root comes with the weed, preventing the weed from growing again. It also stops the possibility of future germination.
There are two main types of post-emergent herbicides that are effective in killing already-present weeds:
- Contact post-emergent – Mostly effective against annual weeds like crabgrass, foxtail, and buckwheat. This herbicide is applied directly to the foliage of the weed, as the death of the head of small, annual weeds is often enough to kill the roots, as well.
- Systematic post-emergent – Mostly effective against perennial weeds like dandelion, thistle, and plantain. Once applied, this herbicide gets absorbed into the weed’s root system, systematically killing the weed from the inside out.
Timing is important when applying post-emergent herbicides. For best results, do so when the weather is warm but not hot (between 60–75 degrees), calm (wind can cause the herbicide to land in areas it shouldn’t), and has been rain-free for at least 4 hours.
There are also some natural methods that may be effective in eliminating weeds. For example, sprinkling cornmeal throughout your landscape can stop weeds from germinating. Pouring boiling water on weeds can kill the root systems, and applying small amounts of salt on the weeds can dry them out, resulting in their death. While these natural methods aren’t guaranteed to be effective, they’re affordable and worth a shot.
Preventing the Weeds
Now that we’ve looked at a few methods of eliminating weeds, we can move on to a few ways to prevent the weeds from returning.
The first and best way to prevent weeds is simple: take care of your lawn! Aerate to relieve soil compaction, feed your lawn with fertilizer, and keep your grass at a healthy length to win the war on weeds this spring. Remember, a lush, healthy lawn will block the weeds from getting essential nutrients like sunlight, oxygen, and water, ultimately keeping them from growing and spreading.
Another effective way to prevent weeds from sprouting and spreading in your landscape beds is to apply mulch. Mulch works as a protective barrier for your trees and shrubs that also blocks weeds from receiving nutrients for growth. As an added bonus, applying mulch improves the health of your trees and shrubs by regulating soil temperature and retaining moisture — three benefits for the price of one.
While it may be too late in the growing season for this method of prevention, pre-emergent herbicides are also extremely effective in stopping the growth and germination of spring weeds. Once applied, this herbicide will create a barrier that doesn’t kill the weed, but prevents it from germinating and spreading. It must be applied before or after weeds grow, so either in early spring or late autumn.
At Lawn Jox, we know Tennessee and Mississippi weeds. When our team of professionals comes out to your home, we will eliminate any weeds while systematically going through your property to set up the most effective weed prevention plan.
Contact us here, or give us a call at (901) LAWN-JOX to learn more about our weed clean-out service and how we can help you get that healthy, weed-free lawn to enjoy all year long. Receive your free estimate today!