– Five Natural Weed Prevention Solutions –

  1.  Regular Aeration.  A major cause of weed problems in lawns is compaction of surface soils.  Compacted soil squeezes the life out of the roots of lawn grass, allowing weeds to move in and take control.  Fortunately, you can remedy soil compaction with regular aeration 2-3 times a season.
  2. De-Thatching.  Thatch is a dense layer of dead roots, stems, and stolons that, because they are still attached to the living plant core, are resistant to decay.  A deep layer of thatch tends to prevent water and fertilizer from soaking to the soil layer beneath.  A thick thatch layer encourages insects and diseases to propagate, which in turn creates an unhealthy lawn with expanded weed growth.
  3. Regular Fertilizing.  Fertilizing feeds a lawn, revitalizes soil that has been burnt out, and maintains strong root growth.
  4. Watering.  Improper watering can cause a major influx of weed growth.  In most cases, frequent shallow watering promotes shallow root growth, which uses less area of the available surface soil, thus allowing weeds to germinate and grow.  If puddles appear on your lawn, aerate and de-thatch.  If sod is uneven, level it with topsoil to reduce water-logged low spots that promote weed growth.  Water less at the bottom of the hill and more at the top.
  5. Mowing.  Astonishingly enough, improper mowing accounts for much of the damage that allows weeds to get a foot hold.  Most lawns are mowed too short.  If close mowing is combined with other stresses such as drought, insufficient nutrients, or unusually hot or cold spells, grass colonies become smaller in size and less dense.  Smaller, thinner grass colonies allow for greater weed growth.   Keep your mower blades sharp and as high off the ground as possible.  In order to avoid compaction of the soil by the mower wheels, change your mowing patterns frequently.

Lane L Windware, “The Healthy Lawn Handbook”, 76.