8 Foolproof Tips to Fix Your Patchy, Weed-Prone Lawn

BY LISA IANNUCCI ON MAY 9TH, 2017

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Those annoying, hard to kill weeds are always getting in the way of that perfect-looking green, lush lawn. Here are 8 foolproof ways to prevent, and get rid of, the weeds that have made a home in your lawn.

1. Use pre-emergent weed suppressants.

“They prevent annual weeds from appearing in the first place,” says Julie Bawden-Davis, founder and publisher of Healthy Houseplants publishing company and a University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener. “They must be used prior to seed germinating.”

2. Keep your turf watered.

“It will keep it healthy and more likely to grow over on any weeds that pop up,” Bawden-Davis says.

3. But don't water too much.

“Don’t water too frequently or shallowly,” Fornari says. “A deep soaking every four to seven days is better.” On average, a lawn needs about one inch of water per week.

4. Never underestimate the power of compost.

“A top dressing of one inch of compost or composted manure does more for a bare lawn than any fertilizer,” says C.L. Fornari, a garden communicator and author of “Coffee for Roses … and 70 Other Misleading Myths About Backyard Gardening” (St. Lynn’s Press, 2014).

5. Rake away.

“Don't hesitate to rake bare spots, top-dressing with some loam and seeding,” Fornari says. “Yes, there are ideal times to seed lawns but small areas can be prepared, seeded and watered to promote growth any time.”

6. Don’t mow low.

According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make related to weeds is mowing their grass too short. When grass is mowed incorrectly, it is less healthy, making it more susceptible to weeds. The rule of thumb for most lawns is to set the mower to cut at 2 ½” to 3” high.

7. Listen to your lawn.

Another tip from the National Association of Landscape Professionals is to listen to your lawn because the weeds are telling you a story. For instance, the common lawn weed called Broadleaf Plantain will thrive in heavily compacted soils where grasses will not. If your lawn has Broadleaf Plantain, it’s a good bet that your soil needs to be aerated.”

8. Let it go.

“Decide how much you truly care about your turf and be willing to let some things go,” Fornari says. “For example, I don't care if white clover grows in with my grass. I don't stress about it.”

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