How to Get Rid of a Lawn Full of Weeds

Imagine walking on a lawn so green, a lawn so healthy. This is probably one of the things that you’re looking forward to every single day.  But, sadly, to a lot of people, this is just a dream, this is just a wish.  It’s because of the weeds!  These annoying weeds! 

If you identify a Pokeweed problem, the How To Get Rid Of Pokeweed guide will step you through dealing with Pokeweed. It spreads quickly and has a deep rooting system, and can be harmful.

Read on to know how.  

Determine your Lawn’s Current Condition

First and foremost, you need to determine the condition of your lawn as well as your grass.  Here’s a list of the things that you must do to examine your law’s present condition.

1. Density of the grass

When your lawn loses its lavishness and you begin to notice patches spreading all over, it’s the first sign of a lawn problem.  The spots are usually caused by an inadequate supply of water and of nutrients, which can eventually trigger the growth of weeds. 

Unable to resolve this problem immediately will surely give rise to the growth of annoying weeds.  

2. Thatch

Thatch refers to the matted layer in between the soil and the grassroots.  To check the thatch, pluck out a sample and measure it.  If the thatch has grown more than half an inch, it means that you already have to dethatch your lawn.  

A thick layer of thatch prevents water and nutrients from penetrating into the soil, which then foils the growth of the grass.  If you will not take this problem seriously, expect weeds to flourish in your lawn instead of rich green grass.  

3. Depth of grassroots

The ideal length for grassroots should be at least 15 centimeters or 6 inches for it to absorb the nutrients needed from the soil.  Surface-deep grassroots often don’t last long because they lack nourishment and can easily get uprooted.  

4. Spread of weeds

If the weeds have occupied more than half of your lawn area, it will already be quite difficult to stop it from spreading.  But don’t worry as this may still be solved.  It may just take some time.  

Find out what kind of weeds are present in your yard and also the condition of the affected surfaces.  Then, determine which needs to be eradicated immediately and those that can be dealt with one day at a time.  

Common Types of Weeds

Lawns can be a perfect breeding place for different kinds of aggressors, such as fungi, insects and most especially weeds.  Weeds can sometimes be mistaken as grass.  They seem harmless, but they are actually capable of destroying your lawn and killing the grass. 

So, how do you spot weeds?  To help you identify the weeds growing in your yard, let me help you picture how they actually look.

Crabgrass

Crabgrasses, which are also called finger grass, are the most common type of lawn aggressor.  They are categorized under the genus Digitaria.  

They look like regular grass.  The difference is that they grow in bunches, they are thicker, and that they are far less attractive.  If left unattended, they can grow to as high as 20 inches.  

Large crabgrasses, or otherwise called Digitaria sanguinalis, are common in the northern part of the US.  On the other hand, what can be found mostly in the half southern part are the smooth crabgrass or the Digitaria ischaemum.     

Crabgrasses, an annual grass, flourish in lawns that are inadequately watered, have a poor drainage system, and are unfertilized.  As winter starts, crabgrasses die and begin to germinate again in the next springtime.  This type of weed generates about 150,000 weed seeds each year.  

When crabgrasses die, they display unattractive sights in your lawn, but they can be dealt with easily.  After reseeding your lawn, make sure to water it diligently, fertilize it, and keep it healthy.  By doing so, crabgrasses will have a hard time coming back in the next spring season.  

Crabgrasses can grow quickly once their roots start popping out.  So, it is important that even before they spread out in your yard, manually remove them to stop the germinating process.  But if your weed problem has already gone berserk, you might want to end it by using a herbicide.

Annual Bluegrass

Annual bluegrasses, or the Poa Annua, usually grow in lawns in North America. These weeds thrive in areas that have cool climates and in lawns that are shielded by trees.  It is somewhat similar to Kentucky bluegrasses but only lighter in color.  

They have long ligules or membranes that serve as support from the base to the leaves of the stem.  

The best way to get rid of a lawn full of weeds, particularly the annual bluegrasses, is to change the environment where they’re abundantly growing.  For instance, reduce the sheltered areas in your lawn by, let’s say, trimming the branches of the trees surrounding it.  If the weeds are very persistent, then herbicides can help eliminate them for you.  

Common Couch

The Elymus repens or the common couch weeds are also popularly known as couchgrasses and quackgrasses.  They are perennial weeds that are prevalent in both shaded and sun-lit areas.  

Common couch grasses grow in stems and are blue-green in color with leaves that resemble a finger.  

They are one of the toughest weeds that spread by means of rhizomes, which makes them really hard to get rid of. Most of the time, common couch grasses are impossible to avoid as they invade lawns in the form of airborne seeds.

They like to live in lawns that are unhealthy and sparse.  So, to prevent these weeds from appearing, see to it that you have a well-maintained lawn.  

If you notice that they’re already starting to spawn in your lawn, pluck it out manually to remove every bit.  Unable to do so will allow the remaining weed parts to regenerate and spread rapidly all throughout your lawn.  

Nutsedge 

The yellow nutsedge, or the Cyperus esculentus, and the purple nutsedge, or the Cyperus rotundus, are two types of weeds that you don’t want to see growing in your lawn. Newly grown nutsedge weeds look like regular lawn grasses and they are light green in color.  They can be identified through their roots that have nut-like tubers.  

They are perennial weeds that invade lawns thru airborne seeds or rhizomes, and they are the type that are incredibly challenging to remove.  

Pulling them out from the soil will not help.  That’s how stubborn nutsedge weeds are.  The only way to get rid of them is to maintain a lush and vigorous lawn so they won’t have any chance to occupy areas in your lawn.  

Again, if you can’t fight the growth of the nutsedge weeds, the use of herbicides would be your only choice.  

Yellow Salsify

The yellow salsify or the western salsify grows abundantly in central and southern Europe and in the western part of Asia, and it is now making its presence felt in North America.  It goes by the genus name Tragopogon Dubius.  

Before their flowers start to stick out, they can be identified through their leaves that are gray-green.  You will know yellow salsify is growing in your lawn if the yellow flowers begin appearing. 

These weeds like to thrive in sunny landscapes.  As they’re growing, yellow flowers develop and turn into large puffballs.   

Yellow and Green Foxtails

The yellow (Setaria Pumila) and the green (Setaria Viridis) foxtails are very bothersome and can grow abundantly in lawns.  Their foxtails hold quite a lot of seeds that can spread all over your lawn or garden.  

The yellow and green foxtails are easy to manage because you only need to keep your lawn healthy.  If you have an adequately watered and well-fertilized lawn, I can assure you that these weeds will not have a place in your yard.   

It is an annual weed, which means that you can simply pull out the roots and let it die naturally.  Once they die, try to come up with a plan to make your lawn as healthy as possible so you won’t have to encounter them in the coming year.  

Johnsongrass

Johnsongrass, or the Sorghum Halepense, if not attended to, can grow as high as 7 feet.  Having such height makes them really easy to identify.  But I don’t think lawn owners will allow these weeds to reach that high, right?

This type of weed is somewhat similar to a corn seedling in the early stages.  As they grow, they develop more or less 1-inch leaves with white veins running through the center.  

The johnsongrass, which is a perennial weed, can be easily dealt with.  Simply uproot it or douse it with a good amount of vinegar.  Another way to get rid of a lawn with johnsongrass is to till the soil until the rhizomes get exposed to the cool winter weather.  

Creeping Bentgrass

The creeping bentgrass, which is a perennial weed, is sometimes used to beautify golf courses in the northern part of the US.  They may seem appealing to some, but once they occupy areas in your lawn, they become more of an annoyance rather than an attraction. 

If you see fine grasses with white patches in your lawn, they are most likely creeping bentgrasses.  If you let it stay and allow it to grow more than 1 inch, it will start to appear puffy.  By the way, they don’t like hot weather.  

If the creeping bentgrass has already made an entrance to your lawn, immediately cut off their journey by using a herbicide.  

Smooth Bromegrass

The Bromus Ramosus Ramosus or smooth bromegrass is another stubborn weed that you don’t like to see in your lawn.  They can quickly spread in all corners if you do not immediately act on them.  

If you allow the smooth bromegrass to grow in your lawn, it can reach a height of around 3 to 7 feet.  It has long leaves, probably 8 to 20 inches, and is covered with fine hairs.  

This weed has a compact rooting system and spreads through rhizomes.  So, once their roots get established, you will surely have a hard time eradicating them.   

But, just like other weeds, the smooth bromegrass can be defeated.  How?  By creating a flourishing and healthy lawn.  Mowing your lawn and completely filling it with lawn grass can help get rid of the weeds.  It’s actually a numbers game!

Carpetgrass

This perennial carpetgrass, also known as Axonopus Compresus And Axonopus Affinis, appears like thick mats that can grow up to 12 inches high.  They like lounging in moist areas and in sheltered lawns with acidic soils.  

If you see thick mats of grass that are medium green in color, you can be 100% sure that they are carpetgrass.  

It is quite easy to get rid of the carpetgrass.  You just need ¼ cup of salt then add it to a gallon of water.  You may also use lime to lessen the soil’s acidity.  

Broadleaf weed

It is easy to identify broadleaf weeds because they are so obvious. While some of the flowers seem pretty, these weeds can easily turn a nice backyard into a graveyard due to their distinct leaves.

It is easier to control broadleaf plants by keeping your lawn so dense and healthy that they will never grow. The best broadleaf weed control killer will get rid of these weeds in your outdoor recreation and relaxation space if they have already taken over.

Ways to Get Rid of a Lawn Full of Weeds

It is difficult to have a green and healthy lawn if it is swarmed by weeds.  If this is the present condition of your lawn, expect that this can’t be solved immediately.  Take note: not immediately.  So this means that there is still hope to restore your lawn in the passage of time. 

Step 1: Clean and mow your yard

If you regularly clean and mow your yard, you can immediately deal with the unwanted weeds.  If you notice small weeds starting to pop out, simply get a garden shovel and pluck it out. 

After mowing, don’t leave the extracted leaves lying on the surface of your lawn as you will just unconsciously be replanting them.  

Step 2: Use herbicides

If you can’t get rid of stubborn weeds, then it’s time to use a herbicide.  When applying weed killers, make sure to use a sprayer and just concentrate on the areas with weeds.  Do this 3 weeks before developing a new lawn.

Step 3: Aerate the soil in your lawn

To aerate the soil, use a turf aerator.  Make sure to aerate all areas in your lawn.  After the soil gets loosened, this shall allow grassroots to penetrate deeper.  This will likewise allow water and fertilizer to infiltrate the soil where the grassroots are.  

This aeration process is ideal for lawns that are clay-like in nature as well as in high-traffic lawns.  

Step 4: Plant grass seeds 

Once you’re done aerating the soil in your lawn, it’s time for dethatching.  Dethatching can help break down thick thatches and allow water and nutrients to penetrate into the soil after planting grass seed.

After which, you may begin scattering the grass seeds by making use of a broadcast spreader.  Generally, roughly15 seeds are planted in every square inch.     

Step 5: Water the lawn

A developing lawn must be watered regularly, most possibly, at least 2 times a week.  It is recommended that you water in the first hours in the morning or late afternoon.  

Lawns practically need 1.5 inches of water per week.  But in some cases, the amount of water is dependent on the grass type as well as the lawn’s soil texture.  The climate is also a major factor in determining how much water is needed.  

To evenly water your lawn, using an oscillating lawn sprinkler is the best way to do it.  Not only will your lawn be evenly watered, but you will also be assured that the grass seeds will not be washed out.  

Step 6: Fertilize your lawn

Once the soil has completely absorbed that water, you may now fertilize your lawn using a weed-killing fertilizer.  Such fertilizer contributes to the development of grassroots, thus, creating a healthy lawn that is free from annoying weeds.  

To help grass seeds grow even healthier, you might want to add in lawn fertilizer that contains phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen.  

Summary

How to get rid of a lawn full of weeds all boils down to having a healthy and well-established lawn.  Once you have successfully resolved your problem with lawn weed, make sure to maintain your lawn with all your might and never allow weeds to invade ever again.  

Investing in seasonal treatments can also be a big help in achieving a lawn that’s free from unwanted weeds.  Such treatments should be applied every 3 months.  This way, you will be spared from fighting the growth of weeds and also from reseeding every now and then.