Having a lawn requires a lot of maintenance, especially if you have a big one that you frequently use. Nobody wants a lawn riddled with unwanted elements, the most common of which are weeds. You need to have the essential tools and know-how to keep your lawn free from destructive weeds.
To help you out with the latter, here are five tips to maintain a weed-free lawn.
1. Learn how to conduct a thorough garden weeding
Weeds are likely to grow faster if there are already other weeds on the lawn. Prevent this from happening by removing the weeds as soon as they pop up.
There are three ways to remove existing weeds, and they are as follows:
The most common method for removing weeds, hand weeding is a technique that most gardeners resort to despite the presence of equipment. Although weeds can grow without you knowing, you can easily spot them and pull them out with your bare hands.
Using gardening tools
If removing weeds using your own hands isn’t really for you, then you can also choose to use gardening tools such as a weeder, hoe, or lopper instead. These tools, which have their respective functions, can help you pull out your weeds faster. To be more specific, weeders or hoes can help you pull out weeds at their roots, while loppers are used to prune the top part of weeds that are too stubborn to pull.
It’s also important that you store your gardening tools in a safe and suitable place.
For weeds that are too difficult to remove, using herbicides is your best solution. Not only do they make the weeds easier to pull, but they also prevent new ones from growing. Just make sure to follow the steps on the packaging of the herbicide before using it to avoid damaging your lawn.
No matter which of these three techniques you decide to use, keep in mind that garden weeding is best done when the soil is moist. Although you could wait for it to rain, it’s more efficient if you pour warm water on the ground instead.
2. Dethatch your lawn at least once a year
In case you didn’t know, a thatch is a soil layer that collects dead roots, stems, and leaves. Thatches can’t be completely removed from the soil, but the good news is that they can’t harm plants unless they get thick enough to separate the roots of the plant from the healthy soil.
It’s a good idea to get rid of thatches even before it reaches that point. You can remove thatches by following these four simple steps:
- Push through the affected soil using a thatching rake.
- Rake in one direction to remove the thatch from the soil while being careful not to damage the grass’ roots.
- Pick up the layer of thatch using a leaf rake – or any gardening tool, for that matter – and properly dispose of it.
- You can opt to use the removed thatch as fertilizer by composting it and sprinkling it all over your lawn.
Take note that thatching rakes are ideal for small lawns, but not for big ones; a power dethatcher is much more suitable for the latter. However, it does carve a significant number of holes on your lawn. Don’t worry though, because, after two to three days with regular watering, it will look as good as new.
Now, if you’re not quite up for this dethatching challenge, you could always contact companies to do this job, as well as other, for you.
3. Aerate your lawn whenever necessary
Occasionally, the soil in your lawn compacts. When that happens, weeds are able to root themselves firmly in the soil and grow tall. To prevent that from happening, you need to aerate your lawn and loosen the soil regularly.
You can make that happen by using special equipment. Spike aerators, for instance, are used to create holes in the soil and ease soil compaction, while plug aerators remove some of the soil on top to give more room below. It’s best to consult a lawn care expert for this task since doing it improperly runs the risk of furthering soil compaction.
For best results, make sure that the soil is moist before aeration and rich with fertilizers after.
4. Cover the bare parts of your lawn
Your lawn is bound to have some bare parts if you’ve just finished aerating or dethatching it. It’s important to cover up those parts because, without grass and if left unattended, they could be a breeding ground for weeds.
There are two ways to cover the bare parts of your lawn:
This not only prevents weeds from growing by keeping out sunlight, but it also keeps your lawn presentable-looking. The best time to replant grass is during late summer or autumn, which is when the soil is damp and warm, allowing seeds to germinate.
If grass replanting is too much work, a quicker yet more temporary solution is pouring mulch that’s around 2 inches thick over the bare areas. Try to use organic mulch as it maintains soil moisture and health.
Having bald spots on your lawn can quickly become a big problem, especially if you keep furniture like folding chairs and tables on it. So, try your best to address this problem promptly and efficiently.
5. Keep the grass well-trimmed
Maintaining a fixed height for the grass on your lawn can prevent weeds from growing. If you keep it at around 2.5 to 3 inches tall, the shade that comes from the grass when the sun is up prevents weeds from growing. You also don’t want to let your grass grow too tall, because that will make them a good habit for insects that could be carriers of harmful diseases.
The Bottom Line
Maintaining your lawn can be simpler than you think, but that isn’t too say that it wouldn’t need time and hard work. Just remember that you have to regularly weed, dethatch, and aerate your lawn while keeping the bare parts of your lawn and the height of the grass in check. It’s also best to use home technology devices to help you maintain your lawn especially if you’re staying out of your home for longer periods.
Indeed, lawn maintenance can sometimes be a pain, but all the work pays off when you get to enjoy a green, weed-free lawn every day.