Dealing with Broadleaf Weeds
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated April 10, 2020)
If you have had a lawn for longer than a year, then chances are pretty good you know just how annoying broadleaf weeds are. Luckily, dealing with broadleaf weeds isn't all that difficult. Just because they aren't difficult doesn't mean that you won't have to get your hands dirty, or spend some time getting the job done. To do it properly, make sure that you follow these simple steps.
- Selective herbicide (can be organic or non-organic)
- Work and gardening gloves
- Garden shovel
- Hand trowel.
- Grass seed
- Locate and identify the weed. The first step in dealing with broadleaf weeds is to actually locate and identify the weed. Ideally you can do this early on in the season so that you don't have as much work to do. Unfortunately this doesn't always happen, so as soon as you identify the weed, and whether it is one of the common broadleaf varieties, you can begin getting to work.
- Apply the weed killer. As long as you are using a narrow spectrum herbicide (or weed killer) you can begin spraying. You want to use a narrow spectrum since it will only affect the targeted weeds, without damaging the surrounding plants.
- Wait and watch. Unfortunately there are times when weed killers will not be enough to deal with the weeds. The only way to tell if you are faced with a situation like this is to wait a week or two, and see if the weeds die off. If they don't then you need to apply a second helping of the weed killer, and once again wait another week.
- Physically remove larger weeds. In the event that the herbicide is not doing the job you want it to, you may need to actually physically remove the weed. This is usually the situation when dealing with larger weeds. To do this properly, make sure that you are first wearing your gloves so that you don't end up getting blisters. Next grab your garden shovel (the one that has a point) and dig out the weed. Try to remove as little of the surrounding soil as possible, but this may not be possible depending on the type of weed you are faced with. Inspect the area to makes sure that you don't leave any of the roots which could allow the weed to grow back. Once you have dug up the weed, dispose of it properly (which means that you do not throw it into your compost pile).
- Hand remove dandelions. While you can always use some weed killer to handle dandelions, it is usually much easier and more effective to dig the plant up root and all. Unless you are dealing with a large clump of these common broadleaf weeds, you will want to use a hand trowel to remove them. Once you have dug up the weed, and its roots, properly dispose of the remains (once again, refrain from throwing them into your compost heap).
- Repair dug up spots. If you have had to dig up any weeds, then you will need to repair the damage, and replace the lost grass. Do this by laying down some new top soil to the afflicted area, and then spreading some new grass seed over that spot. Follow the directions on the grass seed bag for specific instructions on the seed you are using. Generally speaking though, this is a procedure that is much like repairing dog spots.
- Regularly maintain your lawn. Once you have dealt with the weeds, begin regularly maintaining your lawn. This means deep watering at irregular (natural) intervals, keeping an eye out for other weeds, and properly cutting the lawn. Keep in mind that it is a good idea to fertilize the lawn at the start and end of the season to help give your lawn the proper nutrients.
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