Maintaining a beautiful lawn takes a lot of hard work and dedication. One of the biggest challenges that homeowners face is dealing with weeds. Weeds can quickly take over a lawn if left unchecked, making it look unsightly and unattractive. If you’re wondering how to kill weeds not grass, then you’re in the right place.
Today, we’re discussing effective methods for how to get rid of weeds in grass without causing damage to your lawn. Learn how to remove weeds from lawn landscaping with step-by-step guides for various methods as well as common types you may come up against and natural options for those looking for more sustainable gardening and lawn care.
How Climate Affects Weed Growth
Learning how to get rid of weeds in grass means knowing how your local climate impacts weed growth. For example, the climate in Upstate NY has a significant impact on the growth of weeds in yards. The region has a humid continental climate, which means it experiences cold winters and warm summers. These weather conditions provide the ideal environment for weeds to thrive.
During the warm summer months, many weed species in Upstate NY can grow and reproduce at a rapid pace due to plenty of sunlight, warm temperatures, and adequate moisture. Additionally, the high humidity levels common in the region can provide further support for weed growth.
In the winter, the ground can freeze, creating cracks that allow weed seeds to get a foothold in the soil. Some weed species can survive the cold temperatures and resprout in the spring, making how to get rid of weeds in lawn areas a challenge for homeowners who aren’t on top of seasonal lawn maintenance.
Common Types of Weeds in Upstate NY
Homeowners learning how to kill weeds without killing grass also benefit from knowing what they’re looking for. Not all weeds are immediately easily identifiable, so becoming familiar with common species of weeds in your area is helpful.
There are several types of weeds commonly found in Upstate NY lawns including:
- Crabgrass: This is an annual weed that appears in the summer months. It spreads rapidly and can quickly take over a lawn. Crabgrass can be identified by its wide, flat leaves and its distinctive seed heads.
- Dandelions: Dandelions are perennials with deep taproots that can make them difficult to remove completely. They have bright yellow flowers that turn into white, fluffy seed heads.
- Clover: Clover is a perennial weed with distinctive three-leaf clusters. It spreads rapidly and can quickly take over a lawn if left unchecked.
- Creeping Charlie: Also known as ground ivy, this weed is a creeping perennial with small purple flowers. It can quickly spread and choke out other plants in the lawn.
- Plantain: This weed has broad leaves and a rosette-shaped growth habit. It is hardy and can tolerate a wide range of soil types and growing conditions.
- Annual bluegrass: This weed is an annual that appears in the fall and winter months. It has thin blades and spreads quickly.
- Chickweed: This is a low-growing weed with small white flowers. It spreads rapidly and can quickly take over a lawn if left unchecked.
Identifying the species in your lawn will help you kill weeds not grass, and take care of your lawn year-round.
How to Get Rid of Weeds in Grass: A Step-by-Step Guide
Determining how to get rid of weeds in grass presents homeowners with a variety of techniques to try. Depending on the amount of weeds in your lawn, you may not have too much to handle. For lawns that have been left untreated for years, the initial work to kill weeds not grass may be greater.
The most common methods for how to get rid of weeds in grass are hand pulling, spot treatment, and pre-emergent herbicides.
Hand pulling is the most natural way to remove weeds from your lawn. It involves pulling the weeds out of the ground by hand, roots and all. This method is effective for removing small patches of weeds or individual weeds. However, it can be time-consuming and isn’t practical for larger areas.
- Identify the weeds you want to remove.
- Grasp the weed near the base.
- Gently pull the weed out of the ground, making sure to remove the roots.
- Dispose of the weed in a compost pile or trash can.
- Repeat as needed.
Spot treatment for how to get rid of weeds in grass involves applying herbicides directly to the weeds, using a sprayer or a sponge applicator. This method is effective for how to kill weeds without killing grass, however, it’s crucial to use the right herbicide and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully or you may accidentally damage your lawn.
- Identify the weeds in your lawn.
- Choose the appropriate herbicide for the type of weeds you have.
- Prepare or mix the herbicide according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Apply the herbicide directly to the weed using a sprayer or a sponge applicator.
- Wait for the herbicide to take effect.
- Dispose of any dead weeds in a compost pile or trash can.
- Repeat as necessary throughout the year.
Pre-emergent herbicides are applied before the weeds have a chance to germinate. This is a method to kill weeds not grass before the weeds have the opportunity to multiply or take over. They work by preventing the weed seeds from sprouting and taking root. For maximum effectiveness, be sure to apply the herbicide at the right time and follow the instructions carefully.
- Determine the best time to apply the herbicide, depending on the type of weeds in your lawn.
- Choose the right herbicide for your weeds.
- Prepare the pre-emergent herbicide per the instructions.
- Apply the herbicide evenly to the lawn using a sprayer or a spreader.
- Lightly water the lawn to activate the herbicide.
- Repeat applications as necessary, following the product instructions and warnings.
Additional Tips for How to Remove Weeds From Lawn Areas
Where hand-pulling, spot treatments, and pre-emergent herbicides may be the most common methods for how to get rid of weeds in grass, there are other tips and techniques you can also integrate into your lawn maintenance.
Regular mowing can help control weeds by preventing them from going to seed and spreading. Aerating the soil can help the grass grow more vigorously, which can help it outcompete the weeds for resources.
If you opt for using herbicides, some tips to kill weeds not grass are to be mindful of which you choose. Choosing the right herbicide is crucial for how to get rid of weeds without killing grass. Look for herbicides that are labeled as “selective,” which means they target weeds without harming the surrounding grass. It’s also essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and avoid over-applying the herbicide.
Natural Remedies for Removing Weeds
For homeowners into sustainable gardening and lawn maintenance, there are several natural remedies for how to get rid of weeds in grass without resorting to herbicides or other chemicals.
These natural remedies for how to remove weeds from lawn areas include:
- Vinegar: Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply it directly to the weeds. The acetic acid in the vinegar will kill the weeds within a few days.
- Boiling water: Pour boiling water directly onto the weeds to kill them. This method is best for small patches of weeds or individual weeds.
- Corn gluten meal: Apply corn gluten meal to your lawn in the spring or fall. It works by preventing weed seeds from germinating, making it an effective natural pre-emergent herbicide.
- Mulching: Covering the soil with a layer of mulch can prevent weed seeds from germinating and growing. Mulching is effective for preventing weeds from growing in the first place and also helps retain moisture in the soil.
Homeowners benefit from learning how to get rid of weeds in grass, but the process can be time-consuming or difficult if you haven’t stayed on top of it. Our team of landscaping professionals is ready to get rid of the weeds in your lawn without harming the grass, helping your yard look its best in time for summer.
Contact the best lawn maintenance professionals in Upstate NY (that’s us!) and let us give you the lawn and landscaping you’ve always dreamed of.