There's more to fighting weeds than just spraying chemicals on your lawn. The key is to create the best possible environment for grass to grow. Healthy lawns leave no available nutrients for weeds, which limits or stops weed growth altogether.
1. Water your lawn properly
2. Fertilize your lawn
3. Adjust your soil's composition
4. Aerate your soil
5. Deal with insect damage and plant diseases
6. Ensure good drainage
7. Mow at the proper height
Removing unwanted plants by hand is the most selective and environmentally friendly way to control weeds.
Removing weeds by hand may not be practical for large lawns or lawns that are overgrown with weeds. You may choose to use herbicides to help control weeds in this case. When applied properly and in moderation, herbicides are very effective at eliminating weeds. However, you should be careful to handle these powerful chemicals properly and safely:
1. Protect yourself.
Wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear. You'll be applying herbicides to a large area, so wear long pants, a long-sleeve shirt and a hat.
2. Focus on young, actively growing plants.
Apply herbicides to younger plants to stop rampant growth before it starts. Older plants may require stronger chemicals or multiple applications.
3. Do not mow or prune in advance.
More plant surface gives the chemicals more opportunity to work.
4. Do not mow or prune afterward.
Give the lawn a few days to fully absorb the chemical, and limit your contact to it.
5. Avoid spraying liquid herbicides on windy or rainy days.
The chemical may drift or run on to desirable plants and flowers, killing them as well.
6. Read all labels.
Find out whether you're applying a selective or non-selective herbicide. Selective herbicides target a specific type of weed and can be applied more liberally. Non-selective herbicides, such as Roundup, will kill any plant; so apply carefully only to plants you want to kill
7. Mark your containers.
Designate specific spray bottles and sprayers for herbicide use with a permanent marker.
Many popular lawn care products are labeled "weed and feed." These products contain both fertilizer and weed killer, which are released at the appropriate times. Thoroughly read the packaging on weed and feed products, paying attention to the list of weeds to be treated.
Weed and feed comes in two types:
Also, if you plan to plant new grass, be sure to allow enough time between sowing grass seed and applying fertilizer or weed control products. Read the weed and feed package carefully for details.