Lawn Weed Control

Simple Yet Effective Lawn Weed Control Methods

Weed growing in lawn can make it look unattractive and also harm it. Learn some of the most effective lawn weed control methods in this article.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Weeds are the unwanted wild plants that grow in your lawn. They may spoil the beauty of your lawn, as their contrasting colors and textures differ from the grass plants very much. Also, they take away the available water and nutrients from the soil, thus affecting the growth of other grass plants. For this reason, it is necessary to control the growth of weeds in lawn.
Identification of Type of Lawn Weeds
Before following any of the lawn weed control program, it is necessary to identify the type of the weed. Lawn weeds can be primarily divided into two types depending upon the way they emerge from seeds.
  • Weedy Grasses: These are monocot weeds that emerge with single seed leaf. Annual bluegrass, crabgrass, quackgrass, and tall fescue are some examples of weedy grasses.
  • Broadleaf Weeds: These are dicot weeds that emerge with two seed leaves. Black medick, clover, chickweed, creeping bellflower, dandelion, ground ivy, knotweed, and plantain are examples of broad leaf weeds.
These lawn weeds are further divided into groups, viz., Perennial weeds, Biennial weeds, and Annual weeds, depending upon their life.
Effective Lawn Weed Control Methods
Once you identify the type of the weed, it becomes easier to control it. One of the best and easiest ways to control lawn weeds is proper maintenance and good cultural practices. Maintaining a dense and vigorously growing grass cover is an effective way of controlling lawn weeds. Sometimes, lawn weed may be an indicator of specific problem in grass plant. Therefore, destroying the weeds without destroying the underlying cause may produce disappointing results.

Severe soil compaction may encourage the growth of weeds like annual bluegrass, path rush, and knot weed, while low nitrogen levels favor the growth of white clover. Poor drainage encourages the growth of rushes and Virginia buttonweeds. Some of the most effective lawn weed control methods include:
  • Watering:
    Watering the lawn deeply is very important, especially during the drought periods. You can water the lawn once a week in the early morning. It is a good time for watering, as the evaporation loss is minimal during the morning. Light watering and frequent irrigation causes germination, and encourages the growth of shallowly rooted weeds.
  • Mowing:
    Mowing encourages the growth of grass, and helps in production of thick grass cover. Making some changes in mowing, like lowering or raising the mowing height and changing the frequency of mowing may help in controlling the lawn weeds. Mowing also helps in getting rid of annual weeds.
  • Mechanical Control:
    Pulling or digging of weeds may be helpful if they are in small numbers. Weeds like dandelion can be removed by using hand fork or a spudding tool.
  • Aeration:
    Soil compaction may encourage the growth of some weed species, aerifying the soil may help in reducing the soil compaction.
  • Herbicides:
    Use of herbicides, along with cultural practices, also helps in controlling the lawn weed. Two types of herbicides can be used for lawn weed control, viz., preemergence herbicides and postemergence herbicides. Preemergence herbicides should be applied 2-3 weeks prior to weed seed germination, and are effective in controlling annual weeds. Postemergence herbicides should be applied after the weed growth, and are effective in controlling broadleaf weeds.
  • Chemical Control:
    Another way of controlling lawn weeds is by using chemicals. Chemicals like 2-4 D amine, basagran, betasan, compitox, dacthal, dicamba, dichlorprop, mecoprop, and tupersan are useful in controlling almost any type of weeds.