How To Kill Weeds and not the Grass!

Nothing is worse than looking forward to having a picnic on your lawn and ending up seeing a bunch of weeds. Whether it be some string ivy, coarsely-textured clovers, or puffy dandelions, we understand that it is frustrating especially since once they have rooted, it is pretty hard to get them to disappear.

But, do not fear because we have got all the information to help you bring back your gorgeous lawn by ridding it of those terrible weeds and giving your turf a well-deserved boost.

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Weeds Permanently?

It is hard to picture but weeds are plants like grass, shrubs, and flower, and just like any plant, they will grow as thick as you will allow them to. With that being said, in order to prevent this from happening, you will need to make your lawn an environment that is difficult for weeds to thrive in. 

What encourages weeds to grow is thin low-mowed grass, water-deprived lawn, and compacted soil.

If your lawn is full of weeds then this guide will go over the best steps to create a healthy lawn where grass will thrive and choke out any new weed growth. We’ll also discuss pre-emergents and treatment options you can do now to prevent new growth and kill off existing growth. But first a lesson on the most common types of weeds that you probably have.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Weeds?

It will come in handy if you are able to identify the three most common types of weeds. This is because you will need to identify the type of weed in order to find and provide the correct treatment to your lawn. 

  • Annual Weeds – Annual Grassy weeds are known to be very deceiving as they look very similar to that of actual grass. Along with this, they grow in the same manner as grass does. Two common types of grassy weeds are foxtails and crabgrass. 
  • Biennial Weeds – these grassy weeds are grass-like weeds and have features that are more like a tube, and are not flat. A well-known example of biennial weeds is wild onion and wild garlic. 
  • Perennial Weeds – Broadleaf has big flat leaves and does not resemble grass or needles. A famous broadleaf weed is a dandelion. 

Other Types Of Weeds 

what type of weed do i have

According to the Weed Science Society of America, there are three main types of weed:

Invasive weed – weeds that plant themselves and spread in natural ecosystems are considered invasive weeds. Because they don’t have any natural enemies to combat their growth, invasive weeds are considered a great threat to native plants and ecosystems and are also classified as noxious weeds. These are easy to kill with the right herbicide.

See our weed directory here.

Noxious weed – this type of weed is designated noxious by local, state or federal agencies as being a hazard to agriculture, public health, wildlife or property. 

Once designated, these agencies are permitted to take the necessary actions to contain or destroy the weed or limit its spread. Field Bindweed is a great example of a noxious weed, and you can access the full list here. These are more tricky to kill with store-bought liquid herbicides.

Weed – these plants are undesirable for several reasons, most notably because they create health problems for both humans and animals, and cause ecological damage or economic losses. Examples of weed are giant foxtail, lambsquarters, and crabgrass. These are easy to kill with store-bought liquid herbicides. Now onto the recommendations…

dandelion weeds

Tips To Kill Weeds In Your Lawn Without Killing Your Grass

A fast and easy way to kill weeds in your lawn is to use either, pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides. These are made especially for weeds and will not harm your lawn if it is applied properly. Pre-emergent is designed to kill crabgrass whereas, post-emergent is designed to kill dandelions. See our recommendations on the best weed killer products, and weed killer sprays.

Or go with my recommendation mix that contains products called Certainty and Celsius. Use two scoops of each in 2 gallons of water and use a sprayer to apply. These 2 bottles will last you a few seasons for typical-sized yards.

Certainty Herbicide for Turf and Lawns 1.25 oz
13 Reviews
Certainty Herbicide for Turf and Lawns 1.25 oz
  • In "cool" season turf, Certainty Turf Herbicide will control broadleaves, sedges and Poa trivialis.
  • In "warm" season turf, Certainty Turf Herbicide will control broadleaves, sedges and kyllinga.
  • Certainty Turf Herbicide is easy and flexible to use and has excellent control of both purple and yellow nutsedge.

Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affl links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2021-07-28 / Affl links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to Control Weeds in the Lawn without Killing the Grass

However, if the use of chemicals does not sound appealing to you, then we have other natural methods to kill weeds.

Can I Kill Weeds Naturally?

You definitely can. However, you should be warned that it is far more time-consuming and labor-intensive. Nonetheless, if this sounds like a challenge for you then you are in the right place. 

A natural way to kill weeds in a lawn is by simply spraying vinegar directly on the weeds. It dries out the plants’ leaves which will ultimately kill whatever is above the ground. If you choose to do this method, you should head to a home improvement store to get the vinegar instead of the ordinary supermarket. Why is this? You will need vinegar that is more than the standard 5 percent acetic acid. Home improvement stores supply vinegar with 10 to 20 percent acetic acid. 

As a result of spraying the vinegar, you are able to kill 80 to 100 percent of the weeds’ top growth. This is the best method to go with if there are a few weeds spread throughout your lawn. However, we would recommend that with larger spreads, you use a safe and effective herbicide as it will be best. 

4 Steps For Killing a Lawn Full of Weeds

how to kill a lawn full of weeds

If your weeds are starting to take over your lawn, here are four steps that you can use to stop the spread and decrease the growth of the weeds:

Investigate your lawn

This will help you figure out what kind of weeds you are dealing with. Before buying products, it is recommended to see what is infiltrating your grass as the treatment plans are aimed at a specific weed. 

Choose the appropriate treatment

This should be relative to the type of weed it is as well as the stage of development it is in. If you plan on killing the weeds before growing season (this would be around spring) you should go for a pre-emergent. Whereas, if you are planning to kill established weeds, you should opt for a post-emergent. 

Spray the weeds

This is done by following the instructions exactly. Directions should be followed for both how much product needs to be applied as well as when to use it. You should double-check the bag for the instructions before you complete this step. It is better to be safe than sorry. 

Establish an effective lawn maintenance plan

long hairy crabgrass

This will help in keeping your grass weed-free. A plan you can implement is as follows:

  • You should seed your lawn and aerate but only if necessary. This must be completed in the fall.
  • Give your grass a short mow and use a fertilization treatment on it before winter. 
  • Make use of pre-emergent and handpick any weeds that linger but only if necessary. Do this in spring.
  • Finally, you should practice mowing your turf regularly in spring and summer but still making sure not to remove more than a third of the grass at a time. 

Safety First

When working with any sort of chemicals, it is important to always read the warning and directions on whatever you are using. Also, to have a safe environment with the proper equipment to better ensure your safety. Therefore, the following tools are highly recommended when working with lawn chemicals:

  1. Cloth gloves.
  2. Dial sprayer.
  3. Fertilizer spreader.
  4. Rubber gloves.
  5. Safety glasses.
  6. Tank sprayer.
  7. Small pressure sprayer.

This should be a good overview to get you started on your weed killer journey. If you have any questions or would like to talk to some experts, I invite you to join our Lawn Liberty Facebook group here or feel free to comment below to start the discussion. Here is also another helpful video on killing weeds without killing the grass.

How to Kill Weeds in the Lawn Without Killing Grass