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Don't Throw a Fit Over Lawn Weeds

by Kristin Marino, All About Lawns Columnist

A Typical Lawn Weed

It's not your fault you have lawn weeds. It's your lawn's fault. Your lawn wants to behave, but like a naughty child, the minute you turn your back, it's up to its mischievous ways. It's up to you to teach your lawn some discipline and respect.

Blame it on the weeds, if you want. The truth is, weeds don't weaken you lawn, but if your lawn is weak, weeds will move right in.
How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Tips to Rid your Lawn of Weeds
  • Keep your lawn mowed at about three inches. Just that little bit of growth can shade out weeds and support a thicker, lusher lawn. Besides, now you have an excuse to take a weekend off from mowing every now and then.
  • Keep the lawn mower blades sharp.
  • The weak spots in your lawn are especially vulnerable to lawn weeds. The heavily used areas and areas next to pavement are especially susceptible to lawn weed infestation. Once the lawn weeds make their home in this area, they are able to spread throughout the lawn.
  • A few lawn weeds are easy enough to yank out, but if you have a particularly bad patch, you may have to perform some babysitting of the area. If the lawn is sparse in this area, rake in some seed in early spring. The grass will have a fighting change of contending with the weeds that will show up.
  • Just pulling out the weeds, even at the root, won't do much good if the soil is compact, suggests the Cornell University Gardening Resource Center. You'll have to alleviate the soil compaction, and then reseed.
  • There's always the daddy of lawn weed punishment, the herbicide, or weed killer. Also according to the Cornell Gardening Resource Center, there are three types of herbicides:
    1. Pre-emergence herbicides: Good for crabgrass, this type of weed killer should be applied to your lawn's weed area a few weeks before weeds are expected.
    2. Postemergence herbicides: Used for perennial broadleaf weeds, this type of weed killer is applied after weeds have emerged and are growing like - well - weeds.
    3. Nonselective herbicides: These weed killers are the most punishing of the group. They kill all plants with which they come in contact, and are best used to kill all vegetation before reseeding.

You may have to lower yourself to the level of those weeds and dig them out by the root. But to make it much harder for them to keep showing up, keep asserting your authority.

You can be caring and firm with your lawn at the same time. Show you care by mowing long with a sharp blade and nourishing your lawn with a good fertilizer. Show you can be firm by reseeding bad parts of your lawn and bringing in an effective weed killer. You can tame the disobedient lawn and wicked weeds.

About the Author
Kristin Marino has been a homeowner for ten years and really does have the greenest lawn in her neighborhood. Kristin holds a bachelor degree in English from the University of Nevada.

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