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How Do I Keep Weeds From Taking Over My Lawn?

A gardener's hands in gloves holding weeds.

Eliminating weeds can seem like the worst chore with unsatisfying results. Yet as aggressive as they seem, weeds are simple to treat with the proper attention and treatment. If your Virginia lawn is overridden by weeds, it is not too late to take back your yard. Simplify your weed removal process and keep weeds from taking over your lawn with these simple tricks from the pros.

Mow for Prevention

Your lawn will typically outcompete weeds when it is cut at its ideal grass height:

  • Fescue, 3.5-4 inches
  • Bermuda, 1-1.5 inches
  • Zoysia and St. Augustine, 2-2.5 inches

Grass that is kept longer during the spring can block weeds from the sun and help guard germinating grass seed. Cutting at the right heights also allows the grass to grow thick and strong against weeds. Do not lower your mowing height to cut weeds. Most weeds will adapt their flowering height to your mowing height, meaning if you mow shorter they will just grow shorter as well! 

Identify, Then Treat

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to caring for your lawn! Know your grass type. Not all weed controls are safe on all grasses. You could do more harm than good, so make sure you read the label. It's equally important to identify your lawn's invaders so you can properly plan the attack. Here are the three most common types of weeds:

  1. Broadleaf weeds- This is typically any weed that has leaves, like dandelions, chickweed, plantain, creeping charlie and more. They are easy to spot but can be tough and stubborn to get rid of.
  2. Perennial grassy weeds- Some go dormant in the winter and emerge in the springtime, whereas some go dormant in the summer and emerge in the winter. These weeds are difficult to get rid of since they spread through both seed and root. So even if you pulled the dallisgrass weed, for example, it could still spread from the small root piece left behind.
  3. Annual grassy weeds- These weeds, like crabgrass, reseed themselves before the end of their season. These seeds then germinate the following spring and spread throughout your lawn.

Know What to Spread

Weeds attack your lawn at its weakest points. When your lawn is given the energy it needs to grow strong and healthy, these targeted weak spots are protected. The three applications that are important to spread include:

  • Pre-emergent weed control to prevent unsightly weeds, especially crabgrass, before they grow
  • Post-emergent weed control, not all weeds can be controlled with a pre-emergent, so some will need to be sprayed as they show up
  • Granular fertilizers to nourish your lawn with much-needed nutrients

Establish a Proper Treatment Routine  

Weeds don't disappear overnight. Controlling weeds takes time and attention and a lot of repetition. When treating your lawn, it's important to have an established treatment routine and timeline, so you plan your attack at the best times. When forming a treatment routine, recognize that sometimes do-it-yourself methods are only short-term solutions to a more serious, long-term weed problem. Choosing lawn experts, like Agronomic Lawn Management, to customize the a lawn treatment plan is the most effective method to keeping your grass as protected as possible.

Take back your lawn from weeds.

Let us help you today!