Killing weeds definitely isn’t the most popular aspect of gardening, nor is it the easiest project to tackle. But, with the help of our beginner’s guide, you can be well on your way to a lawn that’s free from pesky weeds! You see, the problem with weeds isn’t just that they’re unsightly—they’re also pretty greedy and tend to hog the vitamins and nutrients in the soil, starving out our grass and garden plants of the food they need to grow. By taking the proper steps for killing weeds, you’ll be left with a lush, green landscape that’s as healthy as it is beautiful.
Tips for Killing Weeds Safely and Effectively
For many gardeners in Alexandria, getting down on all fours and yanking out tens, or even hundreds of weeds by hand just isn’t possible. Plus, it’s incredibly time-consuming. A fast and easy solution for killing weeds is much more ideal. That’s where weed killer sprays and solutions come in!
When applying a weed killer spray, it’s important to use a spot treatment formula to target the weeds only. Avoid hitting the surrounding grass with the product, as many formulas can also kill your grass and garden plants. Only in the event of a very severe weed infestation should you resort to coating an entire lawn with a weed killer. By spraying a spot treatment formula directly on the leaves of your weed, the product will soak through and reach the roots, so it won’t grow back.
We recommend our Bonide KleenUp as a safe, general all-purpose herbicide to target all sorts of weeds, from crabgrass to poison ivy to creeping charlie. This spot treatment formula is the best option to use if you find weeds popping up between cracks in the pavement. Many herbicides meant for full-lawn application can end up staining pavement, so a targeted approach is more suitable.
After killing weeds with a spot treatment, you’ll want to wait a week before reseeding the grass. Bare patches will be inevitably be left behind once the weeds die, and new grass seed should be poured over the empty spots for your lawn to look like new again. But, if you reapply the seed too soon, some remaining weed killer may still be lingering and will stop the new grass from growing.
Remember to never use herbicides near your vegetable gardens. If the formula wafts over and ends up coating your veggies, not only could it damage your plants, but it could make you sick after eating them! Try your best to just pull weeds from your vegetable garden instead of using herbicides, just to stay on the safe side.
The Best Weed Killer for Lawns in Alexandria
If you’ve got some particularly aggressive weeds all over the yard that just don’t want to budge, we recommend Bonide Weed Beater Ultra. It kills up to 200 different species of weeds, and you’ll notice results as soon as 24 hours after applying. It’s entirely safe to use on lawn grasses, but you’ll want to make sure you use it on a day where you don’t expect any rainfall. Don’t water your yard or turn on the sprinklers for two days after applying, either. When the product is still wet, it can pose a safety concern for our families or pets if they walk through the grass, but as soon as the product is dry, it’s safe to go back out on the lawn.
It works best if applied in cooler weather, so spring or fall is the ideal time. Two weeks after applying the product, you can reseed your grass. There are pre-mixed spray formulas available, but if you’ve got a large area of land that needs to be treated for weeds, you can buy the concentrated formula and follow the mixing instructions on the back.
Organic Weed Killer Solutions
If the idea of coating your lawn with chemicals makes you a bit squeamish, don’t worry—there are natural weed killer solutions available, as well, that will still get the job done! Bonide has a Garden Naturals collection that is formulated with natural ingredients and is safe to use around pets and people if you follow the directions on the package carefully.
Bonide BurnOut is another fantastic grass-friendly weed killer for full-lawn application, even around the base of trees, which you can’t do with many other herbicides! For the concentrated formula, one-part weed killer mixed with three parts water should suffice. But, if your weeds are really large, you can make it a little stronger with one-part product and two parts water.
Preventing Weeds from Returning
Once your weed killing mission has succeeded, it’s important to take measures to prevent weeds from coming back so you don’t have to repeat the weed-killing process all over again. Here are some helpful tips for keeping the weeds away:
Dethatching your lawn, or in other words, pulling a rake through your lawn to untangle matted grass is a great way to maintain a healthy lawn and loosen up the soil, so grass roots can grow strong and healthy. A healthy lawn is better equipped to resist being taken over by weeds, so try dethatching once in the spring and once in the fall for the best results.
Keeping grass longer will also help to prevent weeds because weeds need sunlight to sprout up. When your grass is a bit longer, less sunlight reaches the soil, so weed seeds will be less likely to germinate. When mowing your lawn, set your mower to one of the higher settings so the grass isn’t cut too short.
Use a high-quality grass seed that is suitable for your region when reseeding your lawn. Some cheaper grass seeds can have a small percentage of weed seeds mixed in, which is certainly not ideal if you’re already waging a weed war. Visit our garden center in Alexandria, and one of our experts will help you find a grass seed that’s perfect for your landscape needs.
Applying mulch is a great way to prevent weeds from sprouting up in your garden bed because the material helps to block the sun from reaching the weed seeds. It will also help in maintaining optimal moisture levels and delivering a steady stream of nutrients to your garden plants, making them stronger and healthier, and therefore more resistant to being starved out by weeds.
Killing weeds can feel like an uphill battle if you aren’t properly equipped with the right formulas and products, but this beginner’s guide should help point you in the right direction and make it as easy and safe as possible. The combination of preventative methods, effective weed-killing solutions, and high-quality grass seed should leave you with a lawn that’s perfectly picturesque!