Are weeds the one thing standing between you and the lawn of your dreams? Weeds tend to thrive in lawns with thin, patchy grass, poor nutrition, and compacted soil. If your lawn has weeds, you must first address the cultural concerns and then eradicate the weeds. It will be much easier to keep the weeds out for good if the lawn is healthy.

1. Maintain Lush Grass

A lush lawn is thick enough to suppress the growth of many weeds. Keeping the lawn lush requires several steps. First, don't cut the grass too short — mow to a height no less than three inches tall. Next, make sure water and nutrients can make it to the roots. You can do this by having the lawn aerated each fall so the soil doesn't compact.

Proper watering and fertilization is also a must. Most lawns require about two inches of water applied two or three times a week. Early morning watering ensures the water has time to soak into the soil before the sun comes out and evaporates it. Finally, schedule regular fertilizer treatments, beginning in spring and ending in fall. Well-fed grass is healthy grass.

2. Mulch Exposed Areas

Any part of the lawn where soil shows is an area where weeds can easily get a foothold. Flower beds and the area under and around shrubs are often left bare. An organic mulch, like wood chips, can suppress any weeds in these area. Lay the chips to a depth of about three inches.

If you have areas where it is difficult to grow grass, removing the turf and mulching over the area may be a better option than trying to fight the weeds and grow grass in that area.

3. Schedule Weed Treatments

Regular weed treatments are the final tool in your arsenal. Begin with pre-emergent treatments in late winter or early spring. This is the time to apply certain pre-emergent broadleaf weed killers and crabgrass preventers. These treatments target the seeds and developing roots of the weeds so the plants are killed before they can even make a showing in your yard.

Once actively growing, you can apply broadleaf weed killers to the lawn about once every four to six weeks. Some services will apply the weed killer along with your regular fertilizer treatment. Perennial grass will need to be individually sprayed so that the herbicide doesn't affect your lawn grass.

For more help, contact a weed control and lawn fertilization service like Texas Green Turf in your area.

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