Nothing in the world is more relaxing than walking barefoot over your thick, healthy, green lawn. One of the things that can quickly turn that joy into stress is if you have a backyard full of weeds!
Let’s look at 5 of the smartest ways how you can revive a lawn full of weeds without using harmful weed killers that you might regret using later.
How to Get Rid of a Lawn Full of Weeds
- Set Realistic Lawn Weed Removal Expectations
- Manually Remove as Many Weeds as You Can
- Consider Using Natural Herbicides
- Improve the Way You Treat Your Lawn
- Use Nonconventional Ways to Kill Weeds and Pest Insects
I’ve spent a ton of time caring for lawns and gardens over the years. The following five tips are the surefire methods to help vaporize your weeds into dust. Naturally!
1. Set Realistic Lawn Weed Removal Expectations
Before you learn how to fix a lawn full of weeds, you need to set reasonable expectations. Even the greenest and most luscious lawns have some quantity of weeds.
Lots of reasonable lawn care and horticultural enthusiasts agree that as long as your lawn has less than 10% weeds, you’re in good shape. When the percentage of weeds exceeds that number is when you may notice lawn care issues.
If your lawn is healthy, managing weeds is straightforward and easy. Weeds can’t compete with a thick and vigorous lawn. But, if your lawn falls into neglect, then you may require some time and effort to remove excess weeds. Luckily, when you improve the overall health of your lawn, weed removal and management are simple.
That’s because I think that one of the best ways to prevent weeds from overtaking your lawn is to have a healthy, fertile, vibrant, and robust lawn in the first place. This process of establishing a healthy lawn takes time, effort, inspiration, love, and elbow grease.
For those reasons, remember that ridding your lawn of weeds is possible and straightforward. But weed management also requires ongoing commitment.
2. Manually Remove as Many Weeds as You Can
Nobody likes to hear this, but when people ask me how to restore a lawn full of weeds, I tell them to grab their favorite pair of garden gloves and their best weed puller (check out Grampa’s Gardenware, they’re amazing!) and get to work. There’s no replacement for your manual labor and attentive care.
Removing weeds isn’t an overnight endeavor. If your lawn is overburdened with weeds, then manually removing them is probably your best bet. A gradual yet necessary task awaits you.
Here’s a big weed removal tip. Instead of trying to tackle every single weed in your backyard in one go, have fun with the process and take your time with a slow, methodical approach. The tortoise wins the weed removal race.
Start by identifying heavily weeded areas in your backyard, and spend 10-minute or 15-minute intervals attacking and manually uprooting the weeds every day. Discard the weeds into a paper bag, wheelbarrow, or lawn bag and throw them into your compost bin later on.
Before long, you’ll notice that your lawn has far fewer weeds. As a result, you can give new grass a chance to grow and overcome the previously weed-infested soil.
The good news is that you don’t need to break your back in the weed removal process if you work slower and smarter.
3. Consider Using Natural Herbicides
Please think twice before choosing synthetic herbicide or pesticide chemicals to treat your heavily weeded lawn.
If you use pesticides carelessly, you may risk polluting nearby bodies of water, negatively impacting wildlife, damaging beneficial insects, or even harming your pets. You might even contaminate your soil so that nothing wants to grow – including grass.
That’s why, in my opinion, natural herbicides are better than synthetic herbicides, even if your backyard lawn has more weeds than an abandoned meadow. One smart option is to use a vinegar-based herbicide to help kill your unwanted weeds.
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You can also consider making a homemade herbicide. Ingredients include salt, vinegar, and natural liquid dish soap. The salt and vinegar can help to deprive the weeds of water. The dish soap helps to make the salt and vinegar solution stick to your unwanted weeds. Add the mixture to your favorite spray bottle and apply generously to unwanted weeds.
But even if you use a weed spray to kill the surface of your weeds successfully, remember that the taproot of the weed might survive so that it comes back the next year to haunt you! That’s another reason why manually pulling weeds is the most desirable and smartest way to remove weeds from your lawn permanently.
4. Improve the Way You Treat Your Lawn
Remember that mother nature has everything she needs to produce breathtakingly beautiful lawns that would make your neighbors swoon with envy. You can’t improve upon what already exists naturally.
Natural and organic lawncare almost always beats the synthetic alternative. I also propose that a healthy lawn with thick grass almost always outcompetes even the most aggressive weeds. The secret is to care for your lawn over time, consistently.
Treat your lawn right, and the weeds won’t stand a chance.
If you commit yourself to love your lawn, and if you donate enough time to lawn care, then you can contribute to the health and strength of your lawn naturally without relying on unnatural fertilizers or herbicides.
Here are my five favorite lawn care tips that can help you empower your lawn and to render weeds helpless.
Aerate Your Soil
If your soil is compacted and hard, you don’t give your lawn much of a chance to breathe, grow, flourish, and snuff out weeds. You might benefit from using a manual aerator over bare spots on your lawn if grass won’t grow and if the soil feels noticeably hard.
Adequately aerated soil promotes oxygen and helps develop thick, healthy grass. Earthworms and nightcrawlers are also soil aeration superstars and are one of your lawn’s strongest allies.
Choose a Premium Sun Plus Shade Grass Seed Mix
You don’t need fancy synthetic fertilizers or herbicides for a naturally healthy lawn. All you need is a versatile source of grass seed mix, fertile soil, and plenty of sun and water. Sun and shade mixes are perfect if your yard suffers from a lack of sunlight and shady spots. If your soil is clay, look into the best grass seed for clay soil.
If you don’t water your grass enough, you’re going to experience shriveled, dry grass. If your grass gets too thin, then you’re giving a chance for weeds to strike. Keep your grass nourished!
Don’t Cut Too Short
If you cut your lawn too short, then you give potential weeds a chance to breathe and snag more sunlight. Instead, heighten your lawnmower blades a tad so you can encourage a thick, robust crop of grass that smothers and suffocates any potential weeds before they strike.
Put in the Love
I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent manually removing Japanese beetles, vine borers, grubs, armyworms, and aphids from my lawn and garden. I challenge you to do the same. Put in the time to protect and nurture your lawn! That’s always going to be the best surefire method regarding how to revive a lawn full of weeds.
Not only do your lawn care tasks include removing pests manually, but also mowing your lawn, watering your lawn, and removing foliage and other clippings from your lawn. Give your grass a chance to breathe, grow, and flourish. All naturally!
5. Use Nonconventional Ways to Kill Weeds
Let’s discuss three borderline-genius (and borderline-natural) methods to help manage your weeds without herbicides or inorganic options.
Torch Your Weeds
If you’re like me, you like to keep things interesting when removing weeds from your backyard. That’s one of many reasons that I love to use a propane weed torch to help scorch the unwanted lawn weeds into oblivion.
A Houseables weed torch can help to vaporize unwanted weeds instantly. I’ll admit that flaming your weeds away isn’t the most economical way to remove weeds from your backyard lawn. But, I promise that torching unwanted weeds is one of the most satisfying and one of the simplest options.
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Use Beneficial Life to Obliterate Pest Insects
Another genius idea to help boost your lawn is through beneficial nematodes. These microscopic critters eagerly feast on grubs that can wreak havoc on your lawn. Nematodes are also famous for snacking on Japanese beetles, another insidious lawn pest that can ruin your lawn and make way for weeds to supplant your grass.
Consider experimenting with heterorhabditis bacteriophora, a type of beneficial nematode that can help rid your lawn of a wide array of pest insects.
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One Final Tip That Instantly Kills Weeds in Seconds
One final trick to instantly obliterate any undesirable weed is to use boiling water.
If you have an entire section of your lawn ravaged with weeds, then consider using this tactic. Boiling water can immediately kill any weeds that it touches. But it can also kill any desirable plants, grass, or vegetation without discrimination. Use this method with caution!
How to Prevent Future Weeds from Taking Over Your Lawn Without Herbicides
The best long-term weed lawn management strategy is to ensure that you take care of your lawn so that weeds can’t mount an offense. Prevention wins the day.
If your lawn is thick and healthy enough, there won’t be enough room, sunlight, moisture, or nutrients available for the weeds to flourish and take over.
I promise that if you spend time manually pulling weeds and then focus on growing thick and healthy grass, that you won’t give new weeds a chance to develop.
Thank you so much for reading this weed removal guide! I know there are legions of lawn care experts and gardening gurus out there. Can you please share your BEST weed removal tip? I love to hear from you and welcome all gardeners and green thumbs to comment below!
Last update on 2020-12-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API