Once the weeds—and grass, if applicable—turn brown, it’s time to bust out your rake. Rake up as much of the weeds as you can. Use your tilling fork to pull any extra weeds out and till the soil to prepare it for your amendments and seed.
Weeds can be broken down further into categories based on their life cycle—annual, biennial, or perennial.
Step 2: Select a Proper Herbicide
You have a choice ahead of you. Do you want to lay down seed or sod? There are pros and cons to each.
Now, you can apply your soil amendment to ready your soil for the grass seed or sod.
Deep, infrequent watering can help establish your lawn by allowing it to grow deep roots, which can compete against weeds. Try to water your lawn about twice a week, in the morning before the heat of the day sets in. Lawns typically need about 1.5 inches of water per week, but that could vary based on the climate you live in and the type of grass seed you chose.
As some weeds, such as Crabgrass, mature, the leaves develop a hard coating that actually sheds herbicide. Even though the plant is actively growing, the herbicide can’t penetrate leaves. Crush or crumple leaves of mature weeds to ensure herbicide penetration. If you’re dealing with a patch of weeds, beat plants with a bamboo stake to tear leaves before spraying.
If flowering does occur, don’t let plants disperse seed. One Dandelion produces an average of 15,000 seeds, which can live up to six years in soil; one Curly Dock plant produces 100-60,000 seeds, which can survive as long as 17 years. Allow one plant to cast its seed, and you’ll discover the truth of the gardening adage, “One year’s seeding means seven years’ weeding.”
Here are some more things you can do to get the best results from your weed-killing efforts.
Don’t let weeds gain a foothold. Use a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent weed seeds from germinating in planting beds and lawns. Don’t use pre-emergent weed killers in beds where you plan to sow seeds – the herbicide may prevent your seeds from germinating as well. Apply a layer of mulch to keep weeds from sprouting. In planting beds, a 2-inch-thick mulch layer can suppress weeds, as can tightly-spaced plants, which don’t give weeds the necessary elbow room, or sunshine, to survive.
As soon as perennial weeds sprout, it’s time to take action. With tap-rooted weeds such as Dandelion, pulling young plants improves your odds of removing the entire root.