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why do weeds grow in my lawn

Why do weeds grow in my lawn

Eradication of weeds is not a realistic or necessary goal. Some weeds develop even in a well-cared-for lawn. Healthy grass in fertile soil discourages weed growth. Hand weeding throughout the year may be all that is necessary when good management techniques are practiced. Hand weeding is especially useful to prevent the spread of sedges, dandelion, spurge, creeping wood sorrel, dallies-grass and Bermuda grass. Remove the weeds when they are young before they spread, grow seed or develop rhizomes. A dandelion fork or fishtail weeder is useful for removing weeds with a thick taproot.

You can reduce weed growth in lawns significantly by following good management practices and understanding weed growth patterns. Improper fertilization, irrigation or mowing practices make it easy for weeds to invade even an established lawn. Identify the type of weeds plaguing your yard before beginning a control program.

Annual grassy weeds such as bluegrass, crabgrass and goose grass grow, produce seed and die within one season. They return the following year if this cycle is not interrupted. Grassy weed seeds fall from the plant in autumn and germinate in spring when the soil temperature is between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Conditions that cause the growth of annual grassy weeds are overwatering or light, frequent watering, a mower blade set too low or compacted soil. Grassy weeds take hold in lawns that are mowed to a height of less than 2 inches.

Bermuda grass and dallis-grass are perennial grass weeds which establish themselves in lawns that are mowed too closely, are overwatered, have compacted soil or are subject to excess heat and sun. Spurge grasses, knotweed, burclover and black medic are broadleaf weeds that grow in lawns with low nitrogen fertility, compacted soil or are closely mowed and have open areas. Annual and perennial sedges become established in lawns that are overwatered and have poor drainage. Excess sun and heat as well as nearby infestations also cause sedge growth.


Proper mowing, irrigation and fertilization practices prevent many weed problems. Mow every three to five days during growth periods to keep the lawn at a height of 2 ½ to 3 inches during the summer months. Leave clippings on the grass after mowing. Grass clippings provide about 20 percent of the fertilization needs of most grass types. Fertilizer needs vary according to grass species, but nitrogen is the nutrient most needed by all grass types. Organic compost fertilizers are applied once or twice yearly because they release nutrients slowly into the soil. Irrigate when the top 2 inches have dried out — or two to three times per week. Deep, infrequent watering discourages weed growth.

Annual Grassy Weeds

Why do weeds grow in my lawn

If dandelions are all that will grow, it’s possible that your soil is compacted, making it harder for shallower rooted plants to thrive. So you might need to get digging to loosen up the soil.

UK conservation charity Plantlife have been encouraging people to “say no to the mow” for the month of May [6] .

What are weeds telling us?

When weeds grow, they are attempting to cover bare soil quickly. This is why they appear so rapidly in ploughed fields, dug borders and fresh allotment beds. The very action of trying to remove weeds only encourages more to grow!

Weeding to improve your mental health

Weeds can tell us a great deal about the environment, and if we want to better understand our gardens, community green spaces or allotments we should listen to them.

Why do weeds grow in my lawn

Invest in weed control. Weed Man’s professional lawn care programs include regularly scheduled treatments for control of broadleaf weeds. Weed control works by its ability to mimic natural growth hormones, called auxins, that are found in broadleaf plants. Auxins are absorbed through the leaves of the plants and then translocated to the meristems. Uncontrolled, unsustainable growth ensues, causing the stems to curl-over, the leaves to wither, and eventually resulting in plant death.

But don’t fret – a lush, uniform lawn structure isn’t a suburban legend. Homeowners can keep weeds at bay and enjoy a pristine yard by following the tips below:

Mow higher. Raise your mowing height. Although many homeowners love the look of a closely cropped lawn, mowing too low can lead to a thin turf structure and cause weeds to creep in seemingly overnight.

Areas where the lawn meets concrete (e.g. along driveway and sidewalk edges)

Fertilize regularly. A thick, healthy lawn is the absolute best defense against unwanted weeds. This is because a dense turf structure crowds out additional growth, making it difficult for weeds to sprout.

Wet/soaked portions of the lawn

Anywhere compacted soil can be found