This guide will show you the best way to Get Rid of Weeds in your Yard, so If you’re looking for simple DIY steps to Kill Weeds (not grass) and get your lawn looking great again, you’ve come to the right place.
In today’s post, we’ll share seven “Do-it-Yourself” steps to kill your weeds without killing your grass in the process!
If you’re like most of us, we love the look of a well-groomed lawn – and few things can damage that lush grass quicker than invasive weeds.
And while there is no substitute for having a seasonal Lawn Care/Fertilizer program in place, you may, from time to time, need to “spot treat” your lawn and target a breakout of weeds in your yard. And that’s what this article is designed to help you with!
Remember To Kill The “Weeds,” Not the Grass
The first and most crucial part of removing weeds in lawn areas is ensuring you know how to kill weeds and not grass.
Killing weeds Starts with being able to distinguish between weeds and grass. In some cases, this is quite simple – dandelions or clover look nothing like the blades of grass you’re trying to cultivate.
Be thorough, and inspect your lawn more carefully to identify patches of these “look-alike” weeds to select the “correct type” of weed killer.
Word of Weed-Killer Caution:
Certain Liquid “Broad-spectrum” herbicides, such as Roundup’s Weed & Grass Killer – will kill Any plants it comes in contact with, including grasses. This herbicide is typically used on sidewalks, gravel beds, or other areas where you don’t want plants to grow.
You’ll regret it almost instantly if you use a broad-spectrum chemical treatment on your grass. It happens so often – they print it on the front label – Weed & Grass Killer.
Always read the instructions and information for weed treatments, and you’ll be more likely to kill your weeds and not your grass.
June 2023 Update: “Roundup for Lawns”
Roundup has Introduced another product designed to kill weeds, but it won’t kill grass. (Unlike their popular: Roundup Weed & Grass Killer).
This relatively new, Ready-to-Use Weed Killer called “Roundup for Lawns” is guaranteed to Kill weeds, not Grass. It’s now available at Amazon in a 1.25 Gallon refill which is Perfect for use in your Pump Sprayer. (you can also buy a roundup for lawns with a “wand”) if you prefer over using a pump-sprayer – but its not as economical to buy.
Note: The manufacturer provides the following uses for “Roundup for Lawns” weed killer.
- Kills over 250 weeds, including crabgrass, dandelion, clover, and yellow nutsedge-won’t harm your lawn
- Lawn weed killer on Northern grasses, including Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fescue, bermudagrass, buffalograss, and zoysia grass.
While we wouldn’t recommend this weed killer for use on an entire lawn, it is a great option to “Spot Treat” weeds (if you have “Northern Grasses”). This weed killer will also allow you to target specific weeds in your lawn and between regular seasonal lawn treatments.
*Warning: If you intend to spray a weed killer directly onto your lawn, use Roundup for Lawns in the link above (Green Label), and Not: Roundup Weed & Grass Killer (Blue Label).
How To Kill Weeds In Yard – 7 Steps:
1) “Identify” The Type of Weed:
The first step in getting rid of active weeds is to identify them. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can select the proper chemical treatment to apply to weeds and eliminate them.
2) Use “Safe” Chemical Herbicide (Weed Killer)
Weeds well-established in your yard require more than just prevention; they must be targeted directly with chemical herbicides to be removed. Generally, the best Chemical Herbicides for killing weeds can be found in a Liquid solution with spray applicators (connected to a garden hose) or Granular types (used with fertilizer spreaders).
4) “Select” The Best Seasonal Weed Treatment Plan
There are many chemical herbicides on the market. However, not all are designed or intended to produce the same result.
Determine how much of our yard needs to be treated (square footage) and purchase a seasonal lawn fertilizer and weed killer program that works best for your size yard.
5) “Apply” The Right Amount of Weed Killer
For Small Areas:
Spray applications can quickly attack the weeds and remove them more efficiently, roots and all. Always read the complete directions for any liquid spray application, and ensure the product is safe for grass before buying it.
For just a few weedy spots, use the Liquid Weed Killer with the spray bottle provided (if pre-mixed), or purchase a concentrated Liquid Weed Killer and use a garden sprayer. Mix weed concentrate with water, and target the small weed-infested lawn areas. Save the mixture and re-apply to any weedy spots that reappear after two weeks.
For Large Areas:
For more significant weed problems distributed throughout your lawn, you’ll likely want to apply a Granular Weed Killer in the yard. This will ensure you’re getting them all. Most weeds have a network of roots, and you want to kill the entire root system.
6) Use The “Right Type” of Applicator
Grass weeds can hide in the healthy grass in your yard. You can use a liquid concentrate with a hose attachment or granular treatment with a broadcast fertilizer spreader for whole-yard applications.
Either method will kill weeds in lawns. However, a granular treatment is usually more cost-effective for medium to large properties. See each of the two recommended application methods below:
A) How to Use A “Drop Fertilizer Spreader”
B) How to Use A “Liquid Spray” Fertilizer Applicator
7) The Last Resort – Yank ‘Em Out
If you only have a few weeds in your lawn, you can pull them out by hand. This approach works well for weeds along a fence row or beside the foundation of your house but isn’t practical for anything more widespread. Just make sure you pull the entire weed – roots and all – or the weed will grow right back.
Word to the Wise: Some “experts” claim Vinegar is a Natural Weed Killer – which is unfortunately untrue. While vinegar may make weeds shrivel or stunt their growth, vinegar does not “kill” weeds at their roots.
But don’t just take our word for it – see the 7-day test below, which shows the effect of boiling water vs. vinegar to kill weeds.
How to “Prevent Weeds” in Your Yard
“Prevention” is a critical step in Weed Control. After all, If you can keep weeds from coming up in the first place, you save yourself the time, trouble, and money of getting rid of them later.
Some of the best preventative measures you can take are these lawn care techniques that you can quickly implement yourself.
But never forget – Weeds are most active in early spring and are in full-blown maturity by early summer. If you intend to get “out in front” of weed activity – start with your weed regiment Early!
1) Set Your lawnmower Height “Higher.”
One of the best things you can do to get rid of grass weeds is to set the deck on your lawnmower higher. Like the grass you want in your lawn, grassy weeds require the right conditions for their seeds to germinate and grow.
If your grass is growing high enough to keep weeds from getting sunlight, they’ll have a tough time surviving.
2) Use Proper Watering Techniques
Well-saturated – but infrequent watering will help your grass develop a healthier root system. These methods will, in turn, deprive competitive weeds of finding the environment they need to thrive.
3) Consider Annual or Semi-Annual “Lawn Aeration.”
Knowing How to Use a Lawn Aerator in early Spring will allow your grass to receive vital nutrients, water, and air to grow thicker.
This often-overlooked step is vital for a super healthy lawn – so if you don’t already have an aerator, no problem, you can rent one of these tools by the hour – at your local home and garden.
4) Use a “Seasonal Fertilization Program”
Feeding your lawn at regular seasonal intervals throughout the year is a reliable approach to weed prevention. Using a granular spreader or hose applicator, applying – liquid fertilizer, and based on specific weed germination cycles, you can significantly promote the overall health of your grass and make it more difficult for weeds to gain a foothold.
Fertilizers can also serve a double purpose, as many products contain fertilizer and weed-killing herbicides that won’t harm grass. One of the best products we recommend for this purpose is Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action Weed Killer and Fertilizer.
However, the right product depends on the season you’re applying it in and the weed you’re targeting.
5) Optional: Use a Professional Lawn Treatment Company
We all know how long grass seed takes to grow fully, and keeping your lawn free of weeds requires regular maintenance, but the results are well worth it in the end.
As an option, and If you have limited time and the budget to do so – you may consider hiring a local lawn treatment company to set up quarterly service instead of doing it yourself.
Most Service companies offer free estimates, so you can easily compare their prices to the costs (and personal time) required to DIY.
A Lawn service may also be a good option depending on your schedule.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Is The Best Way to Prevent Weeds?
The best way to prevent weeds in your yard is to maintain a seasonal lawn treatment program, with Four Annual applications at a minimum. Secondly, be sure to provide 1-2″ of water to your lawn 3 times a week, every week.
Lastly, to keep your grass healthiest, set your mower height between 2-3″ high, keeping the roots from drying out and preventing weeds from gaining a foothold.
Does Roundup Kill Grass?
Roundup weed killer kills weeds but will also kill grass upon contact. Recently, the Roundup brand has begun selling a weed killer called Roundup For Lawns which can be used for lawn treatment with a pressure sprayer. Roundup for Lawns is described as not killing grass, only weeds.
What is the Best Type of Spreader to Use?
We recommend a “Broadcast Spreader” as the best spreader for seasonal lawn treatments, including fertilizer and weed treatments. Broadcast spreaders distribute a broad path up to 8 feet, vs. a Drop Spreader which delivers 14-16″ of fertilizer.
Keeping your lawn free of weeds will require regular maintenance, but the results are well worth it. And now that you know how to get rid of weeds in the yard, you can eliminate the already established weeds and take steps to prevent them from returning again.
In most cases, the best way to get rid of weeds in yard areas is to use chemical or granular treatments specially formulated for grass lawns.
Maintaining a lush, healthy grass lawn is the best way to control weeds. If you take good care of your yard, you’ll rarely need to address the issue of “how to kill weeds in your lawn” again.
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