The saying goes that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence—but what if it is? Not metaphorically but in real life. Is your neighbor’s lawn greener than yours?
It can be frustrating to put in so much effort into your lawn care routine and still have a lawn full of weeds. You may feel like you're doing everything right, but your neighbor's lawn may seem to have a secret formula for a weed-free lawn. You just want to know how to control weeds in you lawn.
Regardless of whether you take care of your lawn yourself or use a professional service, weeds can be a persistent problem that always seems to come back. The sight of weeds popping through your beautiful lawn can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you've done everything in your power to prevent them.
Chances are your neighbor with the weed-free lawn has found the best lawn care service around. They’ve probably realized that weed control is not as easy as spraying a simple concoction on the lawn. Even when hiring a professional, there are some important things that they must do in order to ensure that they’re successfully tackling your weed problem.
First, you (or your lawn care service) must have a good understanding of weeds and what to do about them. Lawn weeds can be divided into two main categories: grassy weeds (such as crabgrass and nutsedge) and broadleaf weeds (such as dandelions, clover, and plantain). Some weeds are harder to control than others due to things like deep root systems or waxy leaves. Because of that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to weed control.
Beyond that weed control products can also be divided into two categories: selective and nonselective. Selective weed control products are those that can control the targeted weeds without causing harm to surrounding turfgrass species. Nonselective weed control will control all vegetation, including your desired turfgrass. While some weeds are not able to be controlled selectively, the majority should be able to—particularly by a professional who knows exactly how to target them.
11 Weed Control Tips For Lawns in Pennsylvania
Even if you’ve hired a lawn care professional, you may not be getting the weed control that you desire. That’s because your lawn care service might be skimping on important tasks or failing to do what’s truly needed to for the best results. Here are some helpful weed control tips that the very best professionals not only know, but are implementing to knock out weeds.
1. Use Top-Quality Weed Control Products
When it comes to weed control, not all products are created equally. There could be well over a dozen choices when it comes to professional grade material and all are available at varying cost points—but also varying levels of results. If you’re not seeing good results on your lawn, you must ask whether your lawn care service is using what works best or just trying to maximize their profits by using cheaper materials?
2. Professional Lawn Care Equipment
In addition to higher quality, those exclusively used as professional grade products are going to do a better job than the stuff you buy at your local box store. Also, a company that utilizes professional equipment is going to have a better impact. For example, calibrated machines that spray a fine mist offer better coverage on some of the harder to control weeds such as those with small waxy leaves. This is more effective than walking and pulling a hose with a shower-like nozzle, which is a common method used by national lawn care companies because it’s cheaper than outfitting their trucks with ride-on machines.
3. Change Out Weed Control Products
If you’re not seeing any changes in the weeds on your property, there’s a chance that your lawn care service might not be switching out products to adapt to weather changes. Using the same control product year-round is simply not effective as some products are better for certain points of the season. Temperature absolutely has an impact on product effectiveness and experts will be keeping up with changes in temperature and what products will work best for those changes.
A successful lawn care service could also use “sticker products” for tougher to control weeds. Some weeds are better controlled with an additive mixed into the product that allows it to “stick” to the waxy leaves rather than just running off.
4. Use Both Pre-emergent and Post-emergent Weed Controls
Both pre-emergent and post-emergent materials are important when it comes to crabgrass weed control. Overlooking the application of both products will result in a lot of breakthrough. We tend to find the most breakthrough on the edges of driveways and walkways where grass was scalped. Some other lawn care services only use post-emergent weed controls upon request, or even at an additional charge.
5. Make the Right Choice of Product Formulations
Wedd control products are available in both liquid and granular form but what’s best often depends on the exact scenario. Another weed control tip, liquid is best for any post-emergent control that is required as it provides better coverage of leaf tissues. But granular pre-emergents are best when it comes to treating crabgrass. Your lawn care technician should be able to make the right choice between liquid or granular when the situation calls for it.
6. Free Service Calls
A lawn care service that truly wants to get to the bottom of your weed control problem will return in between visits if weeds still aren’t properly controlled. This kind of lawn care company truly cares about its clients being happy with results and about building long-term relationships.
7. Performing Enough Lawn Care Treatments
It’s important that weeds are treated from spring until fall, when weeds are actively growing. This could mean four to five weed control treatments. If you have a minimal lawn care program with only two weed control visits, you won’t see great results, particularly on hard-to-control weeds.
8. Focusing on Grass and Soil Health
Weed control is so much more than just targeting weeds with product. That’s obviously important but you want a lawn care service that also focuses on good soil health with products like fertilizer and bio-stimulants that help grow a thick lawn. That’s because a thick lawn is a natural defense against weeds. A company that also performs services like soil testing and resulting limestone application is also beneficial since certain weeds thrive in low pH soil.
9. Preventing Thin Grass Areas
When areas of your lawn thin out due to insect or grub damage, those areas are going to be more prone to weed invasion. A lawn care service that also provides insect and grub control (which not all do) will also help give you better control over weeds. Similarly, lawns can also become prone to weeds as they thin out during dry spells. Proper watering is also key to a healthier lawn with less weeds.
10. Aeration and Seeding
In order to grow properly, grass requires well-drained, non-compacted soil which core aeration helps create. By creating small holes in the earth, aeration allows your turf to get more water and oxygen to its roots. Seeding is also best done in the fall, and performed during aeration, and will fill in thin spots in your lawn in order to help reduce weed growth.
11. High-Quality Technicians
Finally, one of the weed control tips that might surprise you is the “people factor.” The technicians performing these tasks can make or break the overall success of your program depending on their care and their attention to detail.
Conscientious and knowledgeable technicians who have received ongoing training and are motivated to do their job well (typically because they are treated well by the company, including being well-paid) are going to do the best job performing these tasks correctly. As you search for a lawn care service make sure that you choose a company that has good quality technicians working for them.
Video: How to Get Rid of Lawn Weeds
Choosing Joshua Tree as Your Lawn Care Service Pennsylvania
Joshua Tree utilizes these 11 tips to help get rid of weeds on the Pennsylvania lawns we service. It’s one of the reasons that we may cost more than some of our competition but it’s also the reason why we often have better results.
If you find that your current service is skimping on some of these, we invite you to explore options for lawn care programs and consider hiring a different lawn care service. Or, if you’re performing your own lawn care and are unhappy with the weeds you’re still seeing, we’re here to help!
When you’re ready for us to use our weed control tricks on your lawn, contact us for a free consultation or feel free to give us a call at 610-365-2200.