The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and weeds are rearing their ugly heads! While Perth’s warmer weather during early spring and summer helps your lawns and plants thrive – these same conditions also boost weed growth.
There’s nothing more frustrating than pesky weeds invading your perfect lawn. But rest easy, we’re here to help by sharing the best methods for weeding lawns.
Read on for our top ways to achieve a weed-free lawn.
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Why Removing Lawn Weeds is Important
Removing lawn weeds is important because not only does a weed-free lawn looks attractive, but even small weeds can damage your lawn by:
- draining vital nutrients/hydration
- blocking sunlight
- crowding grass leaving bare/brown patches.
The best way to keep your lawn weed-free is to remove weeds before they seed and germinate.
Types of Common Perth Lawn Weeds
Weeds are managed differently, depending on whether their growth cycle is annual, biennial or perennial.
Annual, Biennial or Perennial?
Annual weeds like Wintergrass and Bindii live for one growing season and regerminate from seed. Watch for them in new turf/soil and recently cultivated beds.
Tackle them annually before they seed — otherwise they’ll plague you for years. Many have shallow roots and can be hand-pulled, but herbicides may be needed.
Perennial weeds like dandelion and clover go dormant but return yearly. They’re challenging to manage, regrowing from underground bulbs, rhizomes, taproots or from seed.
Remove roots fully and without delay — to reduce regrowth, try a pre-emergent herbicide.
Biennial weeds like thistles and ragwort produce vegetation in year one but no flowers/seeds until year two. They aren’t common in lawns, but are best dealt with in year one.
If they’ve already taken hold, remove central taproots to prevent regrowth. Spot herbicides can also help.
Broadleaf and Grassy Weeds
Broadleaf and Grassy weeds are the main weed types. Sedge is another type, more common in cool climates. How you treat weeds is influenced by growth cycles, and which of these categories they fall into.
Visit our blog for more info on common Perth weeds like clover, nettle, soursob and bindii.
Best Methods to Remove Weeds From Lawns
Now you know the basics, here are our top weed-busting tips!
Hand Weeding Tips
Hand weeding is ideal for managing weeds in young turf, and useful for ongoing maintenance.
Tackle weeds young — remove the whole weed (including roots) so it won’t regrow. Pull gently in one direction to stop roots breaking.
Don’t forget about garden beds — otherwise weeds will spread to your lawn!
Take extra care with weeds that have bulbs, rhizomes, or extensive root systems like onion weed, soursob and nutgrass. Consider using a spade, tiller or weed puller to fully remove roots, as roots left behind will regrow.
Pros and Cons of weeding lawns by hand:
Hand weeding is environmentally friendly, and works well for young weeds, and doesn’t damage lawns.
It may be too time-consuming for large areas with many weeds. Consider what’s best for you — our friendly team at Perth Gardening Experts can advise you.
Mowing lawns is part of routine garden maintenance, but can also be important in managing weeds.
As well as maintaining appearances, regular mowing improves lawn health, discouraging weed growth, particularly for weeds that spread via seeds.
When mowing established weeds, use a grass-catcher so cuttings containing seeds aren’t spread over the lawn.
Mow to the recommended height and frequency for the grass type— for more information, see our comprehensive guide to mowing.
Pros and Cons of removing lawn weeds by mowing:
Mowing can help promote healthy grass growth, and discourage some weeds.
Not all weed types will respond.
If you’re not sure what mowing approach is right for your grass or weeds infesting it, ask the experienced team at Perth Gardening Experts.
Natural & Non-Toxic Weed Killer Tips
Many gardeners worry about using herbicides. Perth Gardening Experts encourage use of natural/non-toxic weed killers where practicable.
These can be cheap and simple, but like any weed killer, can harm your lawn if not applied with caution.
Vinegar is a traditional favourite. A spray bottle with an accurate stream is needed, to ensure the vinegar goes directly on weeds, avoiding beloved plants! Salt can be added for potency, and liquid dish soap for ‘sticking power’.
Baking soda draws water from weeds. Again, avoid contact with grass or other plants.
Boiling water is another option. Take care to avoid splashes or burns, and don’t scald your lawn either!
Steam is another non-toxic weedkiller. Purpose-built steam weed killing devices are available.
Mulch lawns with grass clippings. This blocks the sunlight weeds need to grow and also fertilises your lawn!
Pros and Cons of removing lawn weeds with natural weed killer:
Natural/non-toxic weed-killing options are more eco-friendly and safer than herbicides.
However, they can harm your lawn, and aren’t practical for large areas or very established weeds.
Herbicide (Chemical Weedkiller) Tips
Herbicides use chemical compounds to poison weeds.
Active ingredients can include glyphosate, atrazine, dicamba, paraquat, triazine, diquat, glufosinate, metolachlor, urea derivatives, trifluralin, and surfactants.
Herbicides can be pre-emergent (applied in winter to prevent seeds from germinating) or post-emergent (applied to established weeds, attacking existing roots/foliage).
Choose the right product for your weed varieties and grass type. For instance, there are selective herbicides specially formulated to kill Bindii weed, without damaging Buffalo grass.
If you’re unsure about what weed varieties or grass type you have, speak with a professional. Perth Gardening Experts can help you navigate the tangle of weeds, herbicides and grass types!
When applying herbicides, SAFETY IS KEY.
Many contain strong chemicals, so wear proper protective gear — a respirator mask, face shield, chemical resistant gloves/clothing, and boots.
Keep animals and people away from areas being sprayed – check product safety instructions, and keep children and pets off lawns for however long instructions recommend (this could be hours or days).
If the health risks of herbicides concern you, talk to the experts at Perth Gardening Experts about non-toxic, pet-safe options.
Further safety information is available from the Department of Primary Industries website.
Weeding Lawns made easy with Perth Gardening Experts
Let’s face it: managing weeds is hard work, time-consuming, and can be frustrating if they keep returning.
Our best advice is to keep on top of weeds. Hand-weed and mow regularly — and if that’s not cutting it, let us help! At PGE, this is our area of expertise! . You can also find more expert lawn care tips here.
So if your lawn is full of weeds or you’re struggling to keep on top of mowing, why not spoil yourself and get some help?