Are you fighting what feels like a futile battle against weeds? We sometimes we hear from homeowners who tell us they feel as though they’ve tried everything and yet their weeds keep coming back. Some of these homeowners even tell us they’ve hired a professional lawn care company to battle the weeds but still had no luck.
While even the best lawns do have some breakthrough, with the right, multi-pronged approach, you should be able to get rid of most lawn weeds.
Of course, there’s more to getting rid of weeds than a lot of homeowners (and even some lawn care companies) realize. There are a lot of factors that can end up impacting your success—or lack of it. When these issues are overlooked, you’re going to continue to have problems preventing weeds from growing back.
Here are some reasons why your lawn weeds won't go away and what you can do about it.
1. You’re Mowing Improperly
What does mowing have to do with weeds? A lot more than you might realize! Improper mowing habits can create unhealthy turf conditions in which grass struggles but weeds thrive.
For instance, when you mow your grass too short or you scalp the edges along your walkways or driveway, you can create conditions that are favorable for weed growth. That’s because opportunistic weeds like crabgrass love thinned out areas of your lawn where it is easy for them to grow and where the soil heats up quicker.
To prevent this, we recommend mowing to a height of 3 to 4 inches during the growing season. Doing so will also help your soil retain more moisture and lower soil temperatures for your grass.
2. Your Soil is Compacted
Although healthy grass struggles to grow in compacted soil, there are certain weeds that have adapted to these conditions. This could be a reason why your weeds keep coming back. It’s also important to note that compacted soil makes it difficult for lawn care products to penetrate through that compacted layer and have any sort of impact on your lawn. Products aren’t doing much good getting rid of weeds if they are sitting atop of your soil.
Compacted soil is best-addressed with a powerful triage: aeration, overseeding, and topdressing. Frankly, Lawn aeration is one of the most valuable services you can have performed on your lawn.
That’s why we call it the “cornerstone” of our lawn care program. This is a service in which a professional core aerator is used to extract small cores from the soil and leave them there to break down and filter back into the earth. This process allows more water, oxygen, and nutrients to penetrate down to the lawn’s root zone, where they’re needed most. This can be followed up with overseeding and topdressing to truly get the most impact.
It comes back to the fact that a thick and healthy lawn truly is going to help you prevent weeds by choking out their growth in the first place.
3. You’re Using Ineffective Weed Control Products
If you or your lawn care company are putting down weed control products and seeing minimal results, it could be that the products are not very effective. Although some homeowners believe that all lawn care companies are using the same products, this simply isn’t the case. Some companies are investing in better products than others. Oftentimes this is one of many reasons why lawn care may cost more at one company than another.
On that same note, it’s important to recognize that the weed control products you can purchase yourself at a big box store are not going to be as effective as the commercial-grade products being used by a professional.
4. Your Weed Control Approach is Flawed
Getting rid of weeds with weed control products is more complex than just throwing down one type or product and hoping it will cover all weeds. An effective weed control approach requires more than one type of weed control. After all, there are different weeds and these different weeds have varying needs.
On top of that, everything from when you spray for weeds to how often you spray can have an impact on your success.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of lawn care companies who fail to take this into account. So, even if you are using a pro, it’s not a guarantee that you’re going to get great results. Only a lawn care professional who is taking a customized approach to weed control (with varied products at varied times of the year) is going to be able to produce successful results.
This includes a pre-emergent plan to help reduce weeds from germinating in the first place. Late-fall pre-emergent products as well as early spring pre-emergent products can have a significant impact on getting rid of weeds in grass.
5. Your Grass Growing Conditions are Subpar
Soil compaction, which we’ve already covered, is one reason why your grass might not be growing well. But there are other reasons why grass may be struggling to grow. Your lawn may not be receiving enough sunlight, for instance. Growing grass in the shade is challenging as even shade-tolerant grass types require some sunlight. If healthy grass is struggling to grow your lawn is going to be thin and see weed growth.
Sometimes this can be achieved with tree pruning to allow more sunlight to filter through to your lawn. But you might also need to consider that grass will never grow well on your particular property. This might warrant a solution such as extended tree rings or mulched areas or maybe even removing trees if you really want a lawn.
Lack of water is another reason why your ability to grow grass could be a challenge. In order for your grass to grow thick and healthy (and naturally defend itself against weeds) it needs an ample amount of water. During drought conditions, this may mean making up for the lack of rain with hand-watering or an irrigation system.
6. Your Soil pH is Off
When soil health is struggling and the grass is not performing its best, opportunistic weeds will take advantage of these conditions and start to fill in bare spots. In fact, some weeds actually prefer to grow in lower pH soils meaning you’ll have soil that is better for weed growth than it is for grass. Figuring out whether you’re dealing with a soil pH problem is essential to keeping weeds away.
Fortunately, lawn soil pH testing is a regular part of any of the three lawn care program options Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape provides. While many lawn care companies like to use soil testing as an upsell and don’t include it in all of their packages, we believe it is too vital to leave out. Monitoring soil pH is essential given its powerful impact on lawn care results. In other words, we understand that our program will not be as effective as it could be if there is an uncorrected problem with the pH.
Finding Success with Getting Rid of Weeds in Grass
When it comes to getting rid of weeds, your best approach is one that is multi-pronged and varied. It takes into account the site specific conditions of your property for a customized solution. But it also focuses on producing a healthy, thick, and thriving lawn that can naturally defend itself against many of these weeds in the first place.
That means implementing a full lawn care program that includes vital services like aeration and overseeding and even ongoing fertilization treatments that will supply the lawn with nutrients and thicken it up.
With these efforts underway, in time, you may even require less weed control products as your lawn will start to naturally choke out weeds. Even so, there will always be those difficult-to-control weeds that could crop up making it equally important that a professional is regularly servicing your lawn and keeping an eye out for trouble.
At Kingstowne, we are ready to help create a customized and multi-faceted effort for getting rid of weeds on your lawn. Instead of feeling as though your weed control efforts are futile, you’ll finally begin to see valuable progress!
Are you ready to start reducing weeds in your Alexandria, Arlington, or Springfield, VA lawn? Request your quote, choose from our 3 lawn care package options, and relax as you get the royal treatment.