Keeping Control of Weeds in Your Lawn

Keeping Control of Weeds in Your Lawn

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Keeping Control of Weeds in Your LawnWeeds are a problem for every gardener. They show up whenever they like, they’re tough to deal with and they make a really good job of undoing all your hard work throughout the season. They’re a real pain but if you want to have a great looking lawn then they are just something you’ll need to tackle head on, otherwise they’ll just get worse and worse.

To ensure a weed-free lawn make sure you follow all of my tips, hints and advice throughout this post.

When Should You Start

The best time to treat weeds is when they are actively growing, which is anytime between April and late September/early October (depending on the weather). But don’t rush to the weed killer right at the beginning of spring, the weather can still be cold during this time so some weeds will not surface right away.

Cold weather usually means poor growth which usually leads to poor results, so just wait until you see strong and consistent growth – probably sometime in May. Even if you were too early for some of the weeds to surface, then you still have plenty of time before the cold weather comes round again.

But in saying this a good time to deal with the weeds is actually in late August/September. During this time the weed seeds from spring should have germinated, the weeds should be easier to remove compared to spring and it means your lawn should stay weed-free until the next April. Although this is only suitable if you intend to deal with weeds once per year and if the weather is still warm.

How To Remove Weeds

Control of Weeds in Your Lawn

Before you go to remove the weeds by hand or decide to use a weed killer, there are actually a number of things you ought to try that might be just as effective.

  • Ensure you have and follow a regular Lawn Maintenance Schedule. This means that you need to treat the lawn properly by feeding, aerating and scarifying when appropriate. This encourages strong and vigorous grass growth which makes it much more difficult for weeds to grow. Depending on the season, for your convenience I have included my lawn care articles – Summer Lawn Care ScheduleWinter Lawn Care MaintenanceAutumn Lawn Care.
  • Rake and then mow over the lawn to discourage creeping weeds.
  • Apply garden lime if you have acidic soil as it can help deter common weeds such as sorrels and field woodrush.
  • Avoid close/short mowing as this can weaken the grass which frees up space for the weeds to grow in. In general do not cut below 2.5cm.

Using a suitable lawn mower with a sharp blade (can easily be replaced or sharpened) is also important for the health of your lawn. If you have weeds in your lawn, then do not use the mulching as this would spread the weeds further. If your lawn is weed-free, then mulching is a highly beneficial option for your lawn.

As you probably already know there are two ways to deal with weeds, non-chemical (manual removal) and chemical (weed killers).  To decide what method to use you need to assess how bad the problem actually is, if there’s only a couple of weeds growing here and there, then manual removal will be fine, but if they’re scattered all over the lawn, then you’ll need to use a weed killer.


To manually remove your weeds there are a couple of things you can do:

  • Hand-pulling or hand-weeding with a fork: Hand weeding is easiest on lighter soils and should only be attempted where it will not disturb the roots of garden plants. Further pulling may be necessary with persistent weeds such as bindweed or couch grass where small root sections left behind can re-grow into new plants.
  • You can make your own Homemade Organic Weed Killer: It is quick and simple to do and will save you money. There are many different ways this can be done, but if you want to know how to make this most effective weed killer with only 3 simple ingredients click on my article – Homemade Organic Weed Killer.
  • Weed knife: A weed knife has a hooked end and is a useful tool for weeding between paving slabs and along path edging. Various other hooked, narrow-bladed or spiral-type tools are available for specific weeding jobs like digging out dandelions on a lawn.

Best Selling Weed Remover

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Make sure you buy a weed killer that is compatible with your lawn, otherwise it won’t be effective – it’ll say on the label.

First you want to read the instructions so you know how much to apply, if you don’t follow them, then you could be risking your safety and the health of your lawn. There are various types to choose from, sprays tend to be easier to use, but they can be difficult to judge how much you’re spreading, whereas granules will probably take longer, but are spread much more accurately.

If you have small areas of weeds but still choose to use a weed killer as treatment, then you need to be very careful with dosage. If you spray too much then you’ll just kill the grass and will be wasteful (definitely a result you will not want), instead be precise and make sure you’re getting only the weed.

Best Selling Lawn Weed Killers

Last update on 2021-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

To get the best results try mowing at least 3 days before you plan to apply the weed killer and then wait for another 3 days to cut afterwards. This gives the chemicals enough time to cover a good area of grass and to travel down the plant towards the roots ensuring an effective kill of the weeds.

Selecting A Weed Killer

To be effective in controlling weeds it is best that you know and identify which types grow in your garden. This is because some makes of weed killers are better at, and designed for, treating specific types of weeds.

It may be beneficial to check  this post on the RHS website, it has all the types of weeds you’re likely to encounter, how you should treat them and which types of weed killer works best.

How To Prevent Weeds In Your Lawn

Choose the Right Season for ScarifyingTo prevent the weeds from appearing again the best thing you can do is to maintain a regular and proper maintenance of your lawn (feeding, mowing, scarifying, aerating and watering). With strong and healthy grass growth you’ll give the weeds almost no room to squeeze through to the surface, and if the seeds can’t get to the soil then chances are they won’t be able to grow ever again.

To keep your lawn in the best knick possible here are few things you can do:

  • Mowing. Mowing your lawn too low can weaken the grass and lead to bare patches – which are most likely to be covered with weeds. You need to make sure that you are mowing a little and often as this encourages better grass growth. Tip – never cut more than 1/3 of the height of the grass blade. During the summer it is recommended to mow once per week, as the weather gets colder, you will need to reduce and adjust your mowing schedule accordingly.
  • Feeding & fertilising. Make sure you are providing the lawn with the nutrients it needs in order to build up strong and thick grass. Just make sure you don’t overdo the fertiliser as this can encourage thatch build up and cause other diseases.
  • Scarifying & Raking. Make sure you’re removing thatch from your lawn to encourage good growing conditions. This again makes for more vigorous grass growth and therefore poorer weed growth. 
  • Watering. Make sure your lawn is kept wet during times of dry weather, the last thing you want is to lose grass because of a lack of water as it’s easily preventable and presents an ideal opportunity for weeds to take over.
  • Aerating. For us the UK we know this all too well, your soil can become compacted during times of wet weather and makes for poor growing conditions as the grass roots don’t get access to water and air that they need. If not treated properly the lawn will become weak and unhealthy – the perfect opportunity for weeds to invade.

Weeds really are a nuisance, so I hope that I have provided you with the information and advice needed to keep your lawn healthy and weed-free for the seasons to come.

Top Electric Powered Aerators and Scarifiers are listed below

Last update on 2021-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



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4 thoughts on “Keeping Control of Weeds in Your Lawn

  1. Well there’s definitely a lot of info in this post that’ll help me treat my lawn and get rid of those pesky weeds. My lawn is quite big and my grass varies in quality in patches. Some is thick and grows really quickly, some (which I prefer) is finer and takes longer to grow, which means of course less mowing. But yes, the main problem is the weeds. I get dandelions and nettles and a lot of clover (I’m in Ireland). I’m presuming that chemical weedkiller is the way to go for me, but I’d be worried at the cost. For now, I’m hoping that if I keep up with regular mowing I can cut down on the weed infestation :D

    1. Yeah weedkillers are usually a last resort and and should only be used if the situation is quite severe. Just keep doing what you’re doing and keep your lawn in the best shape possible. It will take some time but eventually the number of weeds should gradually reduce.

      But if the progress begins to slow down then you’re probably best applying a chemical weed killer – not a Weed & Feed, they’re not worth it!

      Thanks for the comment and best of luck with those weeds ;-)

  2. This article is very well done. It is full of useful information and easy to follow.

    I thought that the video was exceptional and having links to other videos was well done as well.

    You page is easy to follow and full of useful ideas.

    Thank you for posting this.

    1. No problem Frank, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      I’ve got any questions with weed treatment or any other aspects of lawn care then please ask me ;-)

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