Many homeowners encounter significant stress and spend lots of money when battling lawn weeds to maintain the appearance of their home or keep pace with their neighbor’s lawn. Please know, that it’s okay to have dandelions, clover, and other plants growing in your lawn. Many professional horticulturists do not fight lawn weeds but rather embrace the diversity offered by these “weeds.” A weed-free lawn is only one model, there are other ways. To put your mind at ease read more about The War on Lawn Weeds: Confronting a Lawn Culture Mindset.
To control a weed, you must know your weeds.
Identifying the weed and trying to determine why it has invaded is the first step in managing broadleaf weeds in lawns. Weeds can be indicators of underlying problems for turf development. For example, ground ivy invades lawns in shade, while knotweed may indicate soil compaction. Assorted weeds may indicate overall poor conditions for lawn grasses and/or poor management.
After identifying the weeds present, step two for controlling weeds should be to review lawn care practices and make adjustments as needed to ensure a good stand of grass. Sound lawn care practices promote a healthy, vigorous turf able to prevent and compete with weed invasions. These practices include proper selection and establishment, fertilization, watering, mowing, thatch management, and related practices. Alter the environment that may be favoring weeds, such as reducing shade or improving poor soil conditions. Are you mowing high (3 to 4-inch cut height), mowing often (following the one-third rule), and keeping those blades sharp? Good! That gives your lawn an advantage over many weeds and may meet the desired lawn quality for many homeowners. If a more manicured lawn is wanted, removal of any remaining weeds is the next step.