I have a weed problem

yg17

macrumors G5
Original poster
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
No, not that weed :p

I bought a house in September and I don't think the previous owner took great care of the lawn. As a result, I have a massive bald patch in my front yard, and where it's not just bare dirt, I have a ton of weeds. I figured I'd give it a go myself before calling in a professional landscaping service (even though I know nothing about this stuff), but there are dozens of products out there so I don't know what's best. Any recommendations on the best stuff I can use to get rid of the weeds and then hopefully grow a nice looking lawn? Thanks.
 

The Doctor11

macrumors 603
Dec 15, 2013
5,907
1,291
New York
Walk into home depo ask one of them to take you to the weed killer then when your there you ask witch one does the best job get your answer walk out with one(don't forget to pay for it). I think they all do pretty much the same thing. But I know less about this then you do.
 

Kissaragi

macrumors 68020
Nov 16, 2006
2,338
361
In the UK most of them use glyphosate as the active ingredient, its just in slightly different formulations and different ways of applying it. One is probably going to work pretty much like another. Things may be different in your country tho if different chemicals are legal.

Its more down to the type of weed you have, some can only really be removed by digging them out. Some species are just so invasive that even tho the weedkiller kills 90% of it, that 10% will regrow with a vengeance.

I would take lots of photos of what you have growing and show the people at the garden centre so they can identify what your up against. Or try to identify them yourself online and read about how to kill them.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
32,739
22,591
Behind the Lens, UK
No, not that weed :p

I bought a house in September and I don't think the previous owner took great care of the lawn. As a result, I have a massive bald patch in my front yard, and where it's not just bare dirt, I have a ton of weeds. I figured I'd give it a go myself before calling in a professional landscaping service (even though I know nothing about this stuff), but there are dozens of products out there so I don't know what's best. Any recommendations on the best stuff I can use to get rid of the weeds and then hopefully grow a nice looking lawn? Thanks.
You could take a picture to help people identify them. If they are daises which can be a pain to get rid of, get a speedy weeder and get them out (especially before they seed your lawn).
I can tell you though keeping a lawn looking nice, is an ongoing project/hobby.
 

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Kissaragi

macrumors 68020
Nov 16, 2006
2,338
361
You could take a picture to help people identify them. If they are daises which can be a pain to get rid of, get a speedy weeder and get them out (especially before they seed your lawn).
I can tell you though keeping a lawn looking nice, is an ongoing project/hobby.
I like the fiskars weeder that you pump like a shotgun to get to weed out!
 

campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,415
932
Likely, the cheapest way to deal with your problem is to buy some weed. Yes, that weed. :cool:

More seriously, consider the pro landscaper angle. One service you'd want from them is to perform a soil test - the results of which will offer what the physical composition (soil types, minerals) and proposed amendments to "fix" the "problems". You'd want to offer what you want to install - a lawn, landscaping (flowers, garden, shrubs/trees) - and you'll get a proposal of what types of amendments, in what proportion, when to install the amendments and plantings, and how to care for your plantings.

I'm assuming that you're in the Northern Hemisphere, and IMEO (in my experienced opinion), it's almost a bit late in the spring season to apply amendment and expect plantings to take - unless you're willing to spend a lot of coin on watering and follow-up care during the summer.

If you're looking for a simple analysis and report, consult a local geotechnical engineer - which is what I do for my clients. A comprehensive report runs me between $300-700, depending on how far they have to travel to my project sites. Some labs have "mail-in" lab packets, where there's a fixed fee for one test that amounts to sending in a typical shovel scoop of material - but I don't use this type of testing, just my preference.

Another alternative is to just bury the yard, paying for imported topsoil - generally $22-30 per CY, plus milage and there's generally a minimum charge. You'd sterilize the existing topsoil, chemically, with a controlled burn, or by placing a special geotextile material (generally not cheap at $6-10 per SY plus installation) and digging through it for shrubs/trees - then placing the import material on top.

I don't partake, but my first proposal should be the cheapest, plus the delivery cost of a pizza or two...
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
After weeds get nuked.

Depends how big a spot is bare, if huge then a roto tiller rental might be a good idea to break up the soil and amend it before putting seed or sod back down -- and raking out a bunch of the weeds and old roots.

Or course power tools will likely chew up improperly routed cable tv wires and irrigation pipes. So a garden fork or spade on the moistened bald patch might save on repairs, if it isn't big.

Basically looking at the site preparation guides for putting down a new lawn on bare dirt/weed infested areas is worth a look.
 

.Andy

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2004
2,946
583
The Mergui Archipelago
If you aren't in a hurry there are a couple of other ways to kill the weeds without resorting to chemicals.

Firstly you can place a sheet of black/opaque concreting plastic over the area and hold it down with bricks. Without light and on heating up the weeds will all die within a week or so and break down into the soil.

You can do the same with a thick layer of about about six sheets of newspaper as well. Cover the area, wet it down, and then cover it with an inch or so of topsoil or lawn top dressing. Again it will smother all the weeds. The benefit of this method is the newspaper will let water through for the soil microorganisms. After a week or so you can hire a rotovator, churn it all through the soil, and pop some turf down.

I've used both methods on large landscaping jobs with great success :)
 

Felasco

Guest
Oct 19, 2012
417
2
I dunno, after years of trying to grow a lawn and keep it decent, I've switched sides and now am interested in native groundcovers that will grow naturally. Yea, ok, weeds.

I'm actually fertilizing the weeds in my front yard so that they will fill in everywhere, and then I'll use a weedwhacker to keep them at modest heights.

In the winter rye grass is the magic solution. You just spread it and then forget it, and it always comes in great.
 

richwoodrocket

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2014
2,127
111
Buffalo, NY
I dunno, after years of trying to grow a lawn and keep it decent, I've switched sides and now am interested in native groundcovers that will grow naturally. Yea, ok, weeds.



I'm actually fertilizing the weeds in my front yard so that they will fill in everywhere, and then I'll use a weedwhacker to keep them at modest heights.



In the winter rye grass is the magic solution. You just spread it and then forget it, and it always comes in great.

Haha that's one way to do it.
Or you could pave your lawn. Great for parties, no one will have to park on the street!
 

Felasco

Guest
Oct 19, 2012
417
2
Or you could pave your lawn. Great for parties, no one will have to park on the street!
That's what a lot of people in the American southwest are doing, where water for lawns is in short supply. They turn the whole front yard in to a rock garden. Rocks are pretty easy to maintain!

In my case I'm thinking of putting a very official looking sign out by the street that says, "Weed Garden" so that maybe some of my neighbors will think it's a university research project. :)
 

richwoodrocket

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2014
2,127
111
Buffalo, NY
That's what a lot of people in the American southwest are doing, where water for lawns is in short supply. They turn the whole front yard in to a rock garden. Rocks are pretty easy to maintain!



In my case I'm thinking of putting a very official looking sign out by the street that says, "Weed Garden" so that maybe some of my neighbors will think it's a university research project. :)

You might attract law enforcement sooner or later...
And actually, with rocks, it can really a pain because the weeds just grow in between them. :(
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,031
16,493
The Misty Mountains
No, not that weed :p

I bought a house in September and I don't think the previous owner took great care of the lawn. As a result, I have a massive bald patch in my front yard, and where it's not just bare dirt, I have a ton of weeds. I figured I'd give it a go myself before calling in a professional landscaping service (even though I know nothing about this stuff), but there are dozens of products out there so I don't know what's best. Any recommendations on the best stuff I can use to get rid of the weeds and then hopefully grow a nice looking lawn? Thanks.
Based on my experience the best but hardest method is get out there with a shovel and dig up/pull the weeds, especially if it's an area with no grass. The second best is a weed killer you attach the bottle to a hose and spray the area. This addresses a large area with a multitude of weeds. After weeds are more under control, more weed pulling or spot applications of weed killer. I usually buy a concentrate, and put it in a pump up sprayer. The least effective weed control method is fertilizer that includes a weed killer. Although I said pulling/digging is the best, for some weeds like dandelions where it's hard to get all of the root, a weed spray is better unless you don't mind continually repulling the same weeds. ;)

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I dunno, after years of trying to grow a lawn and keep it decent, I've switched sides and now am interested in native groundcovers that will grow naturally. Yea, ok, weeds.

I'm actually fertilizing the weeds in my front yard so that they will fill in everywhere, and then I'll use a weedwhacker to keep them at modest heights.

In the winter rye grass is the magic solution. You just spread it and then forget it, and it always comes in great.
That's what we had in San Diego, a rock landscape with little steam-like drainage areas and lots of low water req plants (like ice plants). I loved that yard.
 

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,199
722
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
Hey, I thought the same too, haha. :eek:

I asked my dad. He uses weed & feed on our yard. The only thing is that it kills the grass along with it. So for a small problem, you're better using the sprays (probably Ortho like satcomer mentioned).

He uses a winterizer aswell, but you don't do that until the fall.