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Ugh, weeds! Those dandelions, crabgrass patches, and clumps of clover that appear out of nowhere are the scourge of homeowners everywhere. It's not fair, after all the work you put into your lawn. The best way to prevent weeds is to grow a thick and healthy lawn, but they may still pop up. Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take to control the weeds in your yard.
Simply put, a weed is any plant that’s growing where it is not wanted. Lawn weeds belong to one of three categories: broadleaf, grassy, or grass-like.
When it seems as though you have more weeds than grass in your yard, you can still get the lawn you want by tackling your weed problem head-on. To fertilize your lawn and control existing broadleaf weeds at the same time, use Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action or Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Triple Action (if you live in the Southeast). Both formulas save you time and effort by killing stubborn weeds like dandelion and clover while feeding and strengthening your lawn. In addition, Southern Triple Action prevents and kills fire ants for up to 6 months, while Triple Action puts a stop to new weeds like crabgrass. If it’s not time to fertilize your lawn, you can still control weeds with a straight weed control product like Scotts® Weed Control for Lawns. Be sure to always read the instructions before applying any product.
Of course, if your lawn only has a few weeds here and there, you can try hand-pulling them. Annual weeds, like crabgrass and chickweed, tend to have shallow roots and are usually easily controlled with hand-pulling. On the other hand, perennial weeds, like dandelion and thistle, have deep, extensive roots and are harder to control by hand-pulling because if even a small piece of root is left in the ground, the weed will grow back. It’s easiest to hand-pull weeds when they are young and your soil is moist.
When your lawn only has a few weeds, but you don’t want to risk hand pulling weeds that may grow back, you can spot treat with a ready-to-use product like Scotts® Spot Weed Control for Lawns. A weed control product labeled for use on lawns will target listed weeds without harming the lawn when used as directed. Be sure to check the product label to ensure it can be used on your specific grass type.
Annual grassy weeds, like crabgrass and foxtail, are easily stopped in spring, when the seeds and tiny seedlings are most vulnerable, so they don’t become a problem in summer. Applying a crabgrass preventer, like Scotts® Turf Builder® Halts® Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food (if you’re also looking to feed your lawn) or Scotts® Halts® Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer (if you’re not), stops listed weeds before they start to grow. Be sure to follow all label directions.
Here are a few other tips for preventing weeds: