By this time of the year most of our lawns have some “issues”, and they are a lot easier to fix than you think.
Two of the primary “issues” are weeds, and ugly, thick bladed grasses.
A lawn with a lot of weeds is probably quite thin which is why the weeds have been able to take over. For the most part, weeds are pretty easy to deal with. All you have to do is apply a broadleaf weed killer that is designed for use on lawns. (Read the package.)
Or do what I do and just call a lawn service company and have them make one application this fall. You don’t save a lot by doing it yourself. Don’t let them talk you into year round service unless that’s what you want. One application done correctly should take care of 99.9% of the weeds in your lawn.
Next look at the parts of your lawn that are infested with wide bladed grasses. Since these DO fall into the grass family, broadleaf weed killers won’t control them. So you have to spray the wide blade grasses with a non-selective herbicide like Round Up®.
Keep in mind, non-selective means that the herbicide will kill anything plant that it touches. So when you spray these wide bladed grasses you will also kill any desirable grass that is mixed in with the wide bladed grasses.
So do this first:
Get a can of inverted spray paint (for painting lines on the ground) and draw a circle, square or oval around the areas that you want to spray. Keep in mind that you are going to kill everything inside the circle. Once you have the area marked out spray the areas inside of the painted lines. Follow the instructions on the package. Do not over apply the herbicide, it takes very little to do the job.
Wait about four days and spread grass seed over all of the lawn areas that you sprayed. The areas that you sprayed won’t look dead, but they will die soon. The Round Up® won’t hurt the new seed you are putting down as long as you wait four days.
If your entire lawn is thin, especially after you’ve gotten rid of all of the broadleaf weeds and the ugly wide bladed grasses you may need to over seed the entire lawn and you can rent an over seeding machine if you like. But it can easily be done by hand.
But even if you don’t rent the machine just sprinkle grass seed in all of the thin areas, or all of the areas that you sprayed. As the areas that were sprayed start to die, the grass seed that you sprinkled in those areas will start germinating and by spring those areas will be filled back in.
This may take all winter, but if you do it now your lawn should look great in the spring. Make sure you keep the new grass seed watered, especially on the warm days.
Suzanne Cerrone says
Would you have any suggestions to deal with pet urine stains/burns on grass?
You could try flushing the area really well with water then re-seed, or remove that soil and replace and re-seed.
Eddie Bennett says
Thanks for sharing such an interesting and informative post. I’ve learned a lot here in your article. Great job. I did not expect this. This is a fantastic information. I like it so much.
Mike, I was wondering how to fix a spot in my yard that was killed from a gaseline spill, approximately a 12in circle. I’m not a happy camper because of this! Hope you can help! Thanks!
I’d remove the soil down to about 6″ and replace it with toposil. Petroleum products don’t go away anytime fast.