Killing off tough lawn weeds is, well, tough. Weeds are a bane many homeowners suffer from in their landscapes. These problematic plants pop-up from the ground time and again. You pull them out, spray them, and do whatever you can to rid your lawn, garden, and landscape at-large from them, yet, they continue to creep up from the soil, ruining all your hard work. What’s even more frustrating is that it’s an ongoing battle that drains your energy but you still persist because you are committed to having a great outdoor space.
The truth is, there are many effective ways to control weeds–notice the phrasing doesn’t include a “forever” verb or adjective–but some work better than others. That’s because killing off tough lawn weeds is an ongoing fight. You can only control weeds in so many ways, and, if you do it right, you won’t inflict harm on the rest of your lawn. Remember, there’s no perfect solution and some of the remedies you’ve found will not only kill weeds, but the plants you want to protect.
Weeds are not only unsightly, they are a drain on your landscape’s resources. Just like the plants you want to grow and enjoy, weeds fight for land, soil, water, and other nutrients, which means less is available for your lawn. This is why you fight weeds and continue to do battle, to protect your lawn, but it comes with a lot of commitment. It’s not necessarily cheap, though it isn’t expensive in most instances, but, killing weeds is time consuming. The good news is, there are ways to effectively kill off weeds to cleanup your landscape.
Not All Organic Solutions Work
As mentioned above, not all weed control solutions work. Some are downright harmful, even though they may render results, they also do damage to your lawn and/or garden. Sure, you can boil water and pour it over weeds, but, even if you don’t scald your skin, you won’t be able to pour with precision, and, those nearby plants can also be harmed. You can also pour vinegar on weeds, but, here again, it’s not a great solution. The reason for this is that store-bought vinegar contains only 5 percent of acetic acid. However, to be effective, you need about 20 percent.
Nothing ruins your garden or yard like weeds, those uninvited guests that rob your plants of space and nutrients. So murder those weeds most foul, but without harmful chemicals that can do you in, too. —House Logic
There are more organic ways to control weeds, but these too can often be harmful to plants and grass. What’s more, you won’t find a household product that’s nearly as effective as a chemical herbicide. Those products are specifically designed to do the job without causing harm to your grass and plants. When you use household products, you’re taking an ineffective short cut that’s generally a waste of time.
Killing Off Tough Lawn Weeds: Dandelions and Japanese Knotweed
Weeds come in a variety of types, which means that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. You’ll have to identify the weeds in your lawn and garden one by one in order to know what controls will work best. So, let’s look at four of the most common types of weeds and ways to kill them off:
- Dandelions. These weeds are very common, and, quite difficult to control. Dandelions are a perennial, not an annual, so, you can’t get rid of these in the same way. Unlike crabgrass, which is an annual, dandelions won’t be effectively controlled with a pre-emergent herbicide. This is because dandelions have a long tap root, which means you can’t simply pull them out of the ground and expect results. If you pull dandelions out, you’ll leave that long tap root behind, which means it will just grow back. Grab a bottle of Weed-B-Gon and pull up those dandelions, then, spray it into the hole to kill the root.
- Japanese knotweed. This is so ubiquitous that it can be found all over the country, and, so difficult to control, it actually decreases property values. Like dandelions, Japanese knotweed has a serious root, making it difficult to control. The method for killing this weed is to pull it out and treat the hole with chemicals. If you’re dealing with a large patch, smother it with layers of old carpet.
Killing Off Tough Lawn Weeds: and Bittersweet and Crabgrass
- Bittersweet. Like dandelion and Japanese knotweed, bittersweet is problematic because of its roots. You can cut it down, but not with a chainsaw, because it will cause the weed to be broadcast. One way of controlling bittersweet is to cut it down, then pull it out by digging up as much of the root as you can. It might still grow back, so, you’ll have to revisit it and pull up any re-emerging roots.
- Crabgrass. Post-emergent herbicides work well on crabgrass, but, be careful not to spray any other plants or grass. Like some other weeds, crabgrass can grow in large patches, so, you’ll have to keep on it to keep control.