Top 4 Tips To Eliminate Existing Weeds

Top 4 Tips To Eliminate Existing Weeds

How to Kill Weeds Without Killing Grass - This Old House

1. Use A Selective Herbicide (2-4D Active Ingredient)

You want to choose a weed killer which has been engineered to kill the weed but not that the grass you have. The term “selective” means that it selects what it should kill and disregards all other vegetation. 2,4-D is the more common selective herbicide which has been researched for decades on its safety and effectiveness. Using it properly has minimal risks and is extremely effective at killing weeds without killing your grass. Consult our blog about safety of weed control to learn more about how to properly apply herbicides in general. Selective herbicide works by entering the leaf of the weed and changing the way the plant handles nutrients. It causes it to literally grow and age itself to death. Selective herbicides typically take 4-14 days to see very strong results but can literally start to work overnight. It is an effective way to kill 99% of broadleaf weeds down to the root so that same weed shouldn’t be a problem in the future. If you want to do this yourself the products we recommend would be either Weed B Gon or Killex. These products can be purchased at a local hardware store such as Home Depot or Lowe's.

2. Pulling The Weeds By Hand

Either by hand, or with a removal tool, pulling the weed out of the ground by the root and tossing it in your compost bin is an instant remedy. Weeds fight this by purposely breaking at the surface of the ground so that their roots live to grow another day. Using a flathead screwdriver, a ford, or a special tool designed for weed pulling is the best way to remove the entire weed from head to toe. Make sure you wear gloves while doing so as some weeds have prickly surfaces that can really cause a sting. It’s important to remember that pulling the weed by the leaves or step will cause it to snap. So long as the roots survive, you can bet that weed will be back in a matter of days. The tools you use must completely remove the weed from the ground so that it’s gone. For dandelions, do this while the heads are yellow since once they are white, they will spread seeds like crazy upon movement. If your kids are going to blow them into the wind, do it at the local field, not on your lawn!

3. Mowing Properly and Regularly

Your grass should be cut every week during the Spring, and at least every ten days during the summer. Mulching the grass back into the lawn (not using a bag) helps spread grass seed and increase turf thickness. Your blades need to be sharpened yearly and never cut the grass more than 1/3 of its total length. Every time your mow your lawn, you also mow the weeds which takes them out of the picture of a couple days, but don’t forget that the roots are still alive and well and they will try to grow back.

4. Re Sod Your Lawn

This is a last-case scenario for lawns that have been neglected for too long. If weeds have completely taken over and there is minimal grass left to fight back, you may need to consider having a landscape company come in, tear our the sod, regrade with soil, and re sod. This is very expensive and can run at about $2.20-4 per square foot depending on the yard access and local dump fees for sod. Do not re sod unless you’ve exhausted all other options. Find out why it's so critical to fertilize every year so that you don't find yourself using this option by checking out our article here.



We all want a beautiful lawn with no weeds. This can be your reality as long as you do the work to prevent them from showing up in the first place, and have a plan in place to wipe them out if they manage to grow despite your prevention efforts. Remember, stay away from RoundUp and household chemical remedies if you’re dealing with weeds within your grass because the solution is designed to kill all the plants it touches. Some great selective herbicides at the store are “KilleX” and “Weed B Gone”. If you’re hiring a company, choose one which focuses on weed control and fertilizing services with a strong reputation and many reviews from real clients. Don’t select a company that does it all and just so happens to provide weed control services; you want a company that is certified and focuses exclusively on herbicides and lawn nutrition. It’s important to remove weeds from your lawn because they steal previous nutrients from your grass and will eventually takeover if not dealt with. The nature of weeds is to spread and dominate so once your lawn is taken, they will start attacking the nearest lawns in your neighbourhood and the consequences will only worsen. Be a good neighbour and set yourself up for lawn care success by addressing the problem of weeds before they even appear. You can enjoy a beautiful lawn without losing all of your free time, you can see great results without spending a fortune, and you can kill weeds without killing grass!