Controlling Weeds on Your Lawn

controlling weeds on your lawnAre you looking for a better way to combat weeds? Maybe it’s time to take a step back and consider what you can do to get your lawn to do the work for you. Your Billy Goat equipment can improve the health of the grass, increasing coverage and pushing out spaces for weeds. That means less time and expense applying herbicides and pulling out unwanted plants.

Soil Nutrition and pH

A soil test should be a regular part of your lawn care routine. It tells you exactly what your lawn lacks in nutrients and its acidity. This lets you add nutrients and amendments that will help grass thrive, and make it harder for some types of weeds to grow.

Some weeds thrive in conditions that aren’t ideal for grass. You can get some idea of what your soil needs based on the types of weeds growing in your lawn.

Poor quality soil: Dandelions, ragweed, crabgrass or clover
Fertile soil: Foxtail, chickweed, chicory, horehound, and lambsquarter
Acidic soil: Moss and hawkweed
Alkaline soil: Chicory, chickweed, and spotted spurge


Even the best soil won’t stop weeds if you don’t have a good ground cover. As grass matures, the blades thin out, opening up spaces for weeds to grow. Overseeding fills in these gaps by establishing new, more active grass. A well-kept lawn will need to be overseeded every three or four years to keep up with maturing grass.

There’s more to getting good coverage than just filling the hopper on your overseeder and covering your lawn. If you live in a temperate zone, you can plant both warm and cool season grasses to extend the growing season, keeping weeds out through the year. Changing up varieties also helps get solid coverage. Go for shade-loving varieties under trees and next to buildings, and sun-loving varieties out in the open.

Thatch and Soil Compaction

As with soil nutrition, some weeds thrive in areas with physical soil issues. Horsenettle, pennycress, morning glory, Bermuda grass and knotweed thrive in compacted soil. Knotweed, moss, bindweed, sedge, chickweed and creeping charlie show up in soil with poor drainage due to compaction or excess thatch. Compaction and thatch also reduce water and root penetration, thinning out grass coverage.
Leaving clippings on your lawn decreases thatch build-up. Mulched grass is easily digested by the microorganisms living in the soil. This boosts their populations, helping them break down the woody components that make up thatch. A thin layer of thatch is healthy, but if it’s over a half inch thick, it’s time to get out the dethatcher.

To get the best results when aerating, use core tines with your aerator. Unlike spiked tines, they don’t compact the soil around the hole. Cores may be unsightly, but they can be ground up by your mower after they’ve had a chance to dry out.

Stopping Seeds from Germinating

Both annual and perennial weeds release seeds, but annual weeds like crabgrass rely entirely on this strategy to spread. That means a single plant can release thousands of seeds on your lawn. You can stop this spread by picking up grass clippings when these plants go to seed. For the best results, use a lawn vacuum. It will handle wet and thick grass more effectively than your mower.

Instead of throwing out clippings, consider building a mulch pile. This will kill the seeds and let you return nutrients back to the soil, reducing the need for fertilizer.

Heat-loving microbes start taking over at 113°F and can reach as high as 170°F in two or three days. A well-managed compost pile can reach temperatures above 140°F, breaking down all organic matter. This temperature will kill black nightshade in about three hours, and most other weed seeds in about an hour. Here’s how you can get the best results:

– Alternate layers of brown (dry) material and green (wet) material.
– Adjust the mixture if it smells like rotten eggs. A good mix will smell like soil.
– Keep the pile moist, but don’t add so much water that it runs out of the pile.
– Mix the pile occasionally to break up clumps and add oxygen.

Keep Your Equipment Ready to Protect Your Lawn

Whether you live in the United States or Canada, has everything you need for your Billy Goat equipment. We have parts to repair everything from classic finish mowers to the latest equipment including stand-on blowers and augers. Looking for accessories? We ship those, too.

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