A Strategy Guide to Waging War on Weeds … And Winning.

You might want to spring on the weeds in your lawn just as fast – if not faster – than they spring on you. While your ambition is admirable, you might end up working harder than you need or fighting a losing battle. When it comes to weeds, working smarter is better than working harder.

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Planning Your Attack

Playing the theme music to Star Wars and running at your lawn with a weed whacker may sound like fun, but it will unfortunately be ineffective. Start with assessing the state of your lawn. Not all weeds are created equal and different kinds of weeds require different treatments. This tool created by the University of Minnesota is great for helping you identify the kinds of weeds that have run amok on your lawn.

Preparing for Battle

After you’ve identified the weeds in your lawn, choose your tools and ammunition. Here are a couple general items to keep as starting points for your strategy:

  • Water your lawn before pulling out weeds. If you are going to physically remove your weeds, victory is easier and more effective if the soil is moist. You will successfully pull out entire plants – with root systems – if the ground has a bit of give to it.
  • Never mow your lawn too short. The shorter your grass, the easier it is for weeds to take over the surrounding area. What we dislike about buckthorn, is something we love about grass: it blocks the vegetation below it from growing. Longer grass will improve root growth, too, leaving less room for weeds to take hold of the soil.
  • If you compost your weeds, let them dry out or put them on a hot compost pile for a couple weeks. You worked very hard to defeat those weeds, don’t give them an easy way to sneak back into your territory.

After the Action

As you know, maintaining your lawn isn’t a one-time deal or a quick sprint. Keep an eye on your lawn, or hire a lawn care company to keep an eye on it for you. Pay attention to strange growth patterns in your lawn or any areas that seem to be vulnerable to enemy attacks. Practice good maintenance with your lawn and you will keep the weeds at bay.