How To Fix A Weedy Lawn?

How To Fix A Weedy Lawn

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If you have an average-sized lawn, Reseeding is a job you can do just at the weekend. You’ll have to bring home a couple of engine-powered rental machines. Once your work is done, keep the soil damp with daily watering for the first month or more. But fixing a weedy lawn is altogether a different task to complete and in my experience one of the most time-consuming acts to perform for anyone who wants to have a lush green and smooth lawn in the home. So, if you want to know how to fix a weedy lawn so read on:

Tools Required

How To Fix A Weedy Lawn?

Can you preserve the existing grass?

If your lawn is 50% grass, the following steps can be of help

Take a good look at your lawn. If you see masses of healthy grass among the weeds or large areas of good grass all through the lawn, you can save the existing grass. You can fill in the rest by planting a new seed. That calls for the use of a broadleaf herbicide, which kills the weeds and doesn’t harm the grass. It should be applied three to four weeks before starting the whole process. The fastest and easiest application method is a hose-end sprayer. 

Bare lawn

If your lawn is hopelessly bare and is completely covered with weeds, it’s best to go “scorched earth”. Just kill all the vegetation with a nonselective herbicide. Take a start over. Check after two weeks. If some weeds reappear, apply another treatment to make things work.

Project Prep

Reseeding can be the decisive factor. A big thunderstorm could wash your seed away. So pay attention to long-range forecasts and plan according to that. That’s particularly true if your yard is sloped enough that it doesn’t take much water to let go of the seed. Set your mower to its lowest setting before you start the soil prep. Give your yard a buzz cut as well.

Kill the Weeds

Three weeks before you plant the new grass seed, use a hose-end sprayer to spray the lawn with a broadleaf weed killer. Make sure you wear eye protection, gloves, a long-sleeve shirt, long pants and waterproof shoes. 

Aerate the Soil

The function of aerators is to pull small plugs from the soil and deposit them on the surface. It loosens the soil and makes it easier for roots to grow deep into the soil. The plugs will be pulverized in the next step — power raking — to form loose soil for the seeds to germinate properly. Create holes. They will allow fertilizer and water to penetrate deep into the soil for better retention. When you’re using a core aerator to prepare the soil for reseeding, the most important factor is to make at least three passes. You can make more if you have the stamina but make sure each is from a different direction.

Prepare the Surface

Power rakes spin metal tines at an excellent speed to loosen the soil. It also breaks up the aerator plugs. They lift thatch from your lawn as well. From two directions, cover your lawn. Remove dead debris and dirt if it completely covers the ground. It might prevent seed from contacting the soil.

Outline Garden Beds

A broadcast spreader is an appropriate choice because it evenly distributes seed or fertilizer for thorough coverage. Use a drop spreader to spread the seed near those if you own a large yard bordered by flower beds or vegetable gardens. Later, do the majority of the yard with a broadcast spreader. As the seed drops straight down, you won’t be casting grass seed in your gardens by error. 

No matter which spreader you use, set the feed rate at half (or less) of the suggested rate. When you use the drop spreader around border gardens, you should overlap subsequent passes slightly for more even and better seed distribution. 

Seed the Large Areas

Spread seed with a spreader in large areas away from gardens. In one direction, use half the recommended drop rate to spread the seed. When using the drop spreader for the open areas, make two or more passes from a different direction for making the even distribution sure. That is particularly true when you’re using a drop spreader. So you don’t wind up with a striped lawn. If you don’t own a broadcast spreader, buy one right away. You’ll need it to keep your new lawn in good shape after it’s built. 

Rake in the Seed

Applying too much or too little seed is not right. Picture a square inch of the area on a freshly-seeded area. Count the seeds. Aim for about 16 seeds per square inch. After spreading, rake the seed into the soil for establishing a good contact. It doesn’t have to be buried. Some of the seed can still be on the surface. 

Distribute the Fertilizer

Fertilizers earlier used to have nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. But because of water pollution issues, many states no longer permit phosphorus use in ordinary lawn fertilizers. However, phosphorus is responsible for root development. Hence it’s important for starting a new seed. Spread fertilizer all over the yard. Follow the guidelines on the bag to decide how many pounds per 1,000 sq. ft. 

Water everyday

For getting your lawn started, an oscillating sprinkler works just fine. It covers a large area with even, light streams of water and prevents washing away of seed. Water for about 20 minutes at a time, depending on what the type of your soil is. You will need to water at least twice daily. On hot or windy days, you may need to water even more times. 

Soil Watering Gauge

Your goal must be set to water to a depth of 1/2-in. Water for about 20 minutes, and then drive a spade into the ground. Observe the dark line near the surface showing water penetration. That will show you if you should water for longer or shorter periods.

How To Fix A Weedy Lawn


Will watering dead grass bring it back?

If the plants pull out from the ground without an effort, they’re maybe dead. If the roots hold fast when they are pulled, the plants are dormant. You will also see the difference before and after when you start to water the lawn or when rain returns as moisture will revive brown grass. However, it cannot bring dead grass plants back to life as before. 

Should I overseed or kill weeds first?

The weeds should be killed first of all. Before any seeds are planted, kill the weeds and poor looking grass around the lawn. The process is pretty straight forward. About two weeks before the grass is going to be planted, give it a nice spray.

Does vinegar kill grass?

Spraying vinegar over your entire lawn is not a good way to control weeds. It would end the weeds, but it’s just as likely to kill the grass greatly, which is not in your interest. Using a spray means more potential for using vinegar. A drop or two shouldn’t affect the grass. More than that can burn the blades to the core. 

Can you put too much grass seed on a lawn?

Excess of anything is bad. Don’t overdo or cut short. Too much grass seed can lead to undue competition for resources such as light, water and nutrients, and grass seedlings have to struggle as a result. Too little seed leaves lawns thin. 


To get rid of weeds, identify the weeds you have. Select a proper herbicide. Apply the treatment. Wait it out. Rake. Dethatch and aerate. Amend the soil. Lay down the seed and water properly.

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