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How to Control Weeds in Your Yard
If you feel like you’re waging a private war against pesky weed invaders, it’s time to learn how to control weeds in your lawn. There are strategies to help combat yard weeds that might turn your neighbors green with envy.
How to control weeds in your lawn
The simple strategy for how to kill weeds is to create a thick, lush lawn where they have no room to grow. Sounds simple enough, but if you aren’t doing the following turf care, you may be fighting a losing battle.
- Choose the right grass — You may prefer Bermuda grass, but it might not be the right grass for your climate. It’s possible that your grass type isn’t hardy enough for a cold winter climate or can’t weather intense temperatures during summer. Weeds slip right into turf during extreme weather cycles. Another consideration is a yard with both sunny and shaded areas. In this case, you can mix grass seeds that will flourish in both areas.
- Aerate — Lawns that become heavily compacted allow tenacious weeds to gain a foothold. Soil in lawns that are heavily used or that have high clay content can become dense. When this happens, the root system in your grass weakens and weeds creep in. You can control yard weeds and strengthen grass roots when you break up the soil with a plug core aerator at least once a year.
- Select quality grass seed — Don’t assume that the grass seed you buy doesn’t contain weed seeds, too. The cheaper the blend, the higher your risk that the seed you buy isn’t pure. It’s worth the price to buy high-quality turf seed that contains minimal non-grass seeds. The best solution for how to kill weeds is not to plant their seeds.
- Use a proper mowing technique — Resist the temptation to cut your grass too short to avoid mowing as often. This habit doesn’t encourage healthy turf growth. The higher your grass grows, the cooler and darker the soil remains underneath, which makes it tough for weeds to grow. A good rule of thumb is to measure your grass length and then never cut more than one-third the length.
Be realistic about weeds: There is no single herbicide, lawn care tactic or weeding strategy that will eradicate all weeds. Generally speaking, there are three wide categories for yard weeds, such as broadleaf plants, grass-like plants and unwanted grasses.
If you are unsure about your green enemy, take samples of the weeds in your yard to an expert for identification. Chemical herbicides help control the spread of weeds, but used unwisely, they can be dangerous to you, your pets and your grass. Chemicals are one way for how to control weeds in your lawn. A better way is to solve your yard’s fundamental problems, and you’ll find that you won’t need to use herbicides very often.
by Diane Quinn