Weeds in My Lawn

By Ellen Brown

Weeds in My Lawn

Question:

Our lawn is full of dandelion, clover and what I believe it is creeping charlie. What can I use that is homemade that will help to get rid of these without killing the grass?
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Hardiness Zone: 5b

Midge from Buffalo, NY

Answer:

Sorry Midge, in the world of weed control, nothing homemade exists that will kill your weeds without killing your grass. In some areas you can carefully spot-spray weeds with a solution of vinegar, salt and a few drops of dish soap, but this homemade solution will kill anything it comes into contact with (including grass) and depending on the weed, it's only effective on above ground growth so it's not a guaranteed fix. I would advise some good old-fashioned elbow grease (hand-pulling) and applying an effective pre-emergent like corn meal gluten in the spring to help prevent some annual weed seeds from germinating. Otherwise the best "homemade" way to improve your weed situation is to try to improve you lawncare practices. The healthier your lawn is, the more difficult of a time weeds will have taking over. Here are several suggestions:

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  • Mow at the recommended height for your grass (usually at least 3 inches), or set your blade higher than you've been mowing. Taller grass helps prevent sunlight from reaching weed seeds and seedlings.

  • Hand-pull (or mow) weeds before they get the chance to go to seed.

  • Make sure your lawn gets enough water. A good rule of thumb is at least 1 inch every 10 days to encourage good root growth and a thick, weed-resistant turf.

  • Fertilize in late spring with a sprinkling of compost or aged manure to boost the vitality of your grass.

  • Aerate your turf each spring to help air, water and nutrients reach grass roots.

Good Luck!
Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

Answers:

Weeds in My Lawn

I have the same type of problem. I'm going to buy a bag of good grass seed, scatter it around and hope that beauty, truth, and justice will prevail. (10/07/2006)

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By Jantoo

Weeds in My Lawn

Try using Weed-B-Gone from Ortho. Use the type you use with a hose end sprayer, apply really full strength, and repeat about every 10-12 days for 2-3 applications total, and be patient.

Dottiern, Buffalo NY (10/07/2006)

By DottieRN

Weeds in My Lawn

Unless you live in an area where it is required to keep your lawn looking like a golf course, why kill them at all? Did you know you can eat dandelions and clover in salads? Dandelions are related to endive (have you priced that lately?), clover has vitamin c and makes an interesting addition to a green salad.
There is free food in your own yard. Google dandelions for recipes: wine, fried flowers, greens cooked or raw. The roots dried and ground make a coffee substitute. (10/09/2006)

By Carla

Weeds in My Lawn

My goodness, why kill the dandelions and clover? Both are edible. Clover has a lemon flavor and is wonderful in salads and on fruits. Dandelion can be boiled, drained, recovered in water and cooked with a little bacon flavoring until tender, and salted like turnip greens. I am trying to cultivate both for us and for our house bunny who loves them, too. Hope you change you mind? Good luck and God bless you.(12/15/2006)

By Lynda

Weeds in My Lawn

I too had creeping charlie and the only way to get rid of it to manually dig it up with a shovel. Sprays do not work it comes back and more of it.

Good luck.

(12/16/2006)

By Sharon L

Weeds in My Lawn

Dig the dandelions out by hand (long handled weed digger works well) forget about the clover it's fine in the grass. As for the creeping charlie I had good luck getting rid of it by raking the grass hard every time I cut it ( with a fine toothed rake). Creeping charlie is like a vine that clings to the surface of the soil when you rake it you pull up the vine and you can pull it up and out. It only took about three times of hard work raking and pulling to rid my lawn of this weed. Now I spend 15 minutes every time I mow, digging dandelions and pulling creeping charlie. (08/23/2007)

By Donna

Weeds in My Lawn

"Make sure your lawn gets enough water. A good rule of thumb is at least 1 inch every 10 days to encourage good root growth and a thick, weed-resistant turf."

What a waste of water this is. If grass does not grow from the amount of water available from nature then you should plant something useful. I have a one acre patch of grass that has never been watered. Our motto is "if it's green it's grass". It looks pretty good except during severe droughts, but always comes back after a good rain. (08/24/2007)

By Joan

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