How to Control Lawn Weeds

Two Methods:Using Chemical ProductsControlling Weeds without Chemicals

If you are fighting the good fight against weeds growing on your lawn, it may be time to try some new tactics. This article will cover both chemical and non-chemical tactics that you can use to keep the weeds at bay.

Method 1
Using Chemical Products

  1. Image titled Control Lawn Weeds Step 1
    Spot the weeds growing in your lawn. Weeds generally look different from the rest of your lawn. You may spot flowers appearing, especially if dandelions are a problem for your lawn. You may also notice different patterns, colors and textures appearing in your lawn, indicating the growth of other species of plants.
    • It can be challenging to spot weeds on a lawn that is closely mown, so put the mower aside for a bit to see if you can spot any patches of weeds growing.
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    Understand that the broad leaves of weeds make them easier to target. Grass is not a broad-leafed plant, while most weeds generally are. This difference makes it easier to target broad-leafed weeds with your chemical weedkillers.
    • Some weedkillers are even designed to nourish your grass while killing the weeds. Check out products at your local garden supply store.
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    Apply your weedkiller in between late spring and early fall. Weeds tend to grow most during the months between spring and fall. Avoid spreading the weedkiller at the end of the fall season when the weeds are about to go dormant, as doing this will not do much to stop the weeds from reappearing in the spring.
  4. Image titled Control Lawn Weeds Step 4
    Decide whether you are going to do a whole-lawn weedkiller, or use a more targeted product. You can either apply a general ‘weed and feed’ lawn treatment over the entire lawn, or manually apply a targeted weedkiller to individual weeds that you spot.
    • If you have a large lawn, consider getting a backpack sprayer to apply the chemicals; it may be easier than continuing to refill the watering can.
  5. Image titled Control Lawn Weeds Step 5
    Feed your lawn two weeks before applying the weedkiller. Weedkiller is likely to be more effective if used about two weeks after feeding the lawn. This is because the feed will boost the weed growth and give you more weed surface to drench with weedkiller.
    • However, do not feed your lawn ahead of time if you are planning on using a weedkiller that also contains fertilizer.
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    Use a spray bottle for manual applications. A spray bottle can make manual applications more efficient. If possible, set the spray bottle to the most streamlined nozzle, rather than a nozzle that will allow weedkiller to turn into mist over your lawn.
    • If you do not want to use a spray bottle, you can also get a weedkiller gel that you apply directly to the leaves of the weeds.
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    Stop mowing your lawn for awhile. Try to apply weedkiller when you haven’t recently mowed the lawn. Doing this allows the leaves of the weeds (those parts that will absorb the weedkiller) to regrow again after the last mowing so that applying the weedkiller is easier.
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    Apply the weedkiller when there is some moisture in the soil. It is ideal to apply the weedkiller if there has been rain in the last few days. If you have a sprinkler system, apply the weedkiller in the morning after the grass has dried but when the ground is still wet. Checking for moisture is a good idea because weedkiller can harm your lawn if it is applied when the soil is too dry.
    • Don’t apply the weedkiller if rain is predicted for that day, as the rain could wash away the weedkiller, making it ineffective.
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    Try to limit your weedkiller application to two times per year. Applying weedkiller more often could do damage to your lawn. You should also avoid using weedkiller on a freshly laid lawn.
    • Wait until the lawn gets established. This should take roughly a year.

Method 2
Controlling Weeds without Chemicals

  1. Image titled Control Lawn Weeds Step 10
    Consider manually removing weeds. You can manually remove weeds that appear in your lawn by using a thin tool such as a hori hori (thin weeding knife) or a metal weeder, puller or grubber.
    • All of these tools require you to kneel or bend so consider getting a knee pad if this is a problem. You could also invest in a long-handled tool.
  2. Image titled Control Lawn Weeds Step 11
    Hoe young weeds. If you catch weeds when they are still young, you can hoe them up. Try to do this on a dry day so that you can expose the weed roots when you hoe them up. That way, they will dry and die before they can re-root.
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    Consider trying vinegar as an organic weedkiller. Some homeowners consider vinegar to be an organic method of killing weeds. You should be aware that vinegar kills anything it touches so it’s likely to leave bare patches in your lawn if applied to weeds and grass.
    • Use caution when applying vinegar and make sure that it is only applied to weeds at their roots.
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    Control weeds in your flowerbeds so that they don’t spread to your lawn. To control weeds in your flowerbeds, you can remove them by hand. You can also lay down a layer of mulch that will help to keep weeds from growing in between your plants.
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    Maintain your lawn’s health to keep weeds from growing. Try to keep bare patches from forming on your lawn and try to reseed your lawn every fall. A healthy lawn will generally be less susceptible to weeds. Avoid mowing your lawn too closely, as this can weaken the grass.
    • Apply a slow-release fertilizer to your lawn once a year.
    • Aerate your lawn every few years.
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    Apply garden lime to your soil. If you have acidic soil, consider applying garden lime to the lawn area over winter to discourage the growth of acid-loving weeds.


  • If tough plants like bramble are infesting your lawn, there are some organic controls available. You’ll need to spray several times onto the young bramble leaves.
  • Pinch seed heads off of weeds.

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Categories: Gardening