Menu Close

How to Turn a Yard of Weeds Into Grass

How to turn a yard of weeds into grass featured image.

Want to figure out how to turn a yard of weeds into grass?

This article explores exactly how you can do just that.

One of the most frustrating things for many homeowners is battling with weeds in their yard. There are several things to try when trying to get rid of them. Ultimately, it is important to remember that removing all weeds is impossible.

It would require using such harsh chemicals that your grass would likely die, too. Leaving a few weeds provides food and shelter for insects that can be beneficial for your yard.

How to Turn a Yard of Weeds Into Grass

That being said, if your yard is more weeds than grass, it is time to take action. Luckily, you have several options that do not involve herbicides or harsh chemicals. Below are three ways you can turn a yard of weeds into grass.

Aerate Your Lawn

When the soil beneath your lawn becomes compact, only the hardiest weeds will have any luck growing in it. By aerating your lawn, you are allowing precious oxygen and water to get down to where your grass has its roots.

Aeration is simply the process of opening up some air pockets in your soil. This can be done by renting machines or with simple hand tools. Ideally, aeration will be done at least every couple of years. If your soil is clay-based, you may want to do this every spring.

Check Your pH

You can either hire a professional to test the pH of your soil or you can purchase a tool to do so yourself at your local hardware store. A digital moisture probe can give you a lot of useful information about your soil, to include the pH level. Turf grasses, which is the kind of grass you find in most healthy lawns, prefer a neutral pH. There are a lot of weeds that thrive in both acidic and alkaline soils.

You can adjust the level of pH in your soil by using either agricultural lime to raise it or alkaline sulfur to lower it.

Once you have gotten your soil to the perfect pH, your turf grasses will be able to suck up all of the nutrients they need. This is a great time to fertilize your lawn. In order to help keep your lawn green, be sure to fertilize every spring and fall.

Mow Differently

Cutting the grass is not as simple as you may think. How often you mow it and how short you cut it can greatly impact how many weeds grow in your lawn. If you are struggling with weeds, consider mowing higher than usual. Taller grass will reduce how much sunlight makes it to the ground, making it more difficult for weeds to germinate.

You will want to time your mowing properly as well. It is important to mow over weeds either before they flower or while they are flowering.

Most weeds spread by setting seeds right after they flower. The dandelion is a great example of this.

If you mow before that stage, you will greatly reduce the spreading of the weeds. If you notice flowers and have no time to mow, go out and pluck them.

It may be useful to buy a mulching mower if you don’t already have one. These mowers leave behind a thin layer of grass clippings which acts as mulch. This is great for preventing weeds from germinating as well as nourishing your grass. If you’re using a string trimmer, most string trimmer line should be sufficient in removing weeds.

Start Plucking

After you have eliminated as many weeds as you could with the above methods, you may have to go out and pluck the remaining. Many weeds have very shallow root systems and are easy to dig up. It will be even easier if you do this right after watering your lawn or a good rain. This will help because roots come out of wet soil without much of a fight.

Weeds like dandelions present an extra challenge because they have an entire root system. If you leave behind even a tiny bit of this root system, you will see the exact same weed back in a short amount of time.

Stubborn weeds like crabgrass will need to be dug out using gardening tools. A trowel works well. This is very time-consuming work, but you can be successful at it.

Final Thoughts

With a little work, you can eliminate most of the weeds in your yard. Remember, having a few stragglers is not necessarily a bad thing. White Dutch clover is a weed that is actually good for your lawn. It is a legume and it will draw earthworms to your lawn. Earthworms are great for aerating your soil. So, as you can see, some weeds can be useful in a healthy yard!

About the Author

logo The Gardenknow editorial team leverages the knowledge, enthusiasm and experience of its team of gardening fanatics to provide the websites content. If you want to learn more about who we are and what we do read more here.