9 Best Ways How To Get Rid Of A Lawn Full Of Weeds

Maintaining a beautiful lawn takes a lot of hard work. After spending hours cutting the grass, watering, and planting new shrubs, it doesn’t take long before weeds take over your entire lawn.

Isn’t it frustrating?

If you’re sick and tired of seeing your lush lawn covered with dandelions and other weeds, it’s time to do something about it. You could try pre-emergent chemicals, aerating your lawn, or even pulling weeds by hand, but there are more effective ways.

In this article, I’ll share nine simple ways how to get rid of a lawn full of weeds and help you successfully combat the invasion.

Key Takeaways

  • Addressing weed problems in the early spring is essential to preventing their establishment and growth. Monitoring soil temperatures and applying pre-emergent herbicides can help curb weed germination.
  • While chemical weed treatments like “Weed and Feed” can be effective, they should be used cautiously due to potential environmental impacts. Consider natural alternatives such as boiling water, vinegar, or mulch.
  • Regular fertilization, overseeding, and proper mowing contribute to a lush and dense lawn that is less susceptible to weed invasion. Aeration and hand-pulling are eco-friendly methods to maintain a weed-free lawn naturally.

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Identifying Common Lawn Weeds

how to get rid of a lawn full of weeds

Before I give you some tips on how to get rid of a lawn full of weeds, let’s start by taking a closer look at some of the most common weeds you will encounter.


This is a broadleaf perennial with fibrous roots and a short-winged stalk. The flowers are greenish-yellow in thin spikes. A non-chemical treatment can kill this weed.


Another common culprit, and probably the most recognizable garden weed is the dandelion. This is a yellow flower with a deep taproot and a multi-petaled seed head. Only a weeding tool will be able to remove the roots.

Common Ragweed

This broadleaf annual has fibrous roots and causes hay fever. Again, a weeding tool is needed to remove the roots.


This white flower has spoon-shaped leaves and is often tinged with pink tips. The leaves can be killed with vinegar.

Grassy Weeds and Crabgrass

These types of weeds are quite deceiving, as they look just like grass and grow in the same manner. Weeding tools are the best way to remove them.

These were just some of the many types of weeds that are typically found in lawns. So what’s the best way to get rid of them? Keep reading to find out.

Chemical Weed Treatment For Lawns

getting rid of a lawn full of weeds

Perhaps the first thing that pops to mind when thinking about how to get rid of a lawn full of weeds is a chemical weed killer. The bad news is, that spraying chemicals onto the ground can potentially have detrimental effects. You need to take a balanced view of what’s best for your circumstances.

1. Weed And Feed

Weed and Feed is a universal term given to a range of lawn chemicals that kill weeds. This weed control system improves the lawn’s ability to absorb food and water for healthier growth.

The weed part of Weed and Feed comprises herbicides, which are chemicals that kill most green, leafy weeds.

The feed part of the Weed and Feed is a combo fertilizer consisting of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. This is designed to help your lawn stay healthy.

In terms of how it works, the granules are applied to the lawn and absorbed by the weed. In addition to the granular form, you can also find the liquid form of Weed and Feed, which needs to be applied with a sprayer. Unlike other chemical weed killers, Weed and Feed don’t harm the regular grass – unless you apply too much! 

In case you’re absolutely adamant that you don’t want to use any harsh chemicals on your lawn, you’ll be pleased to know that there are some natural ways to kill your weeds. Read on for tips on how to get rid of a lawn full of weeds using natural treatments. 

2. Post-Emergent Weedkiller

Post-emergent weedkillers are usually available as a concentrate that requires mixing with water. This type of weed killer effectively kills dandelions, clover, and crabgrass. Those branded as selective weedkillers won’t damage your lawn either.

Many contain vinegar, soap, and salt as their three primary ingredients, along with chemical compounds.

However, keep in mind that post-emergent weed killers won’t completely eradicate the weeds and they will eventually return to your lawn.

But don’t lose heart as there is a solution to every problem…. even weed-related ones!

Early Spring Weed Control

The key to preventing weeds from getting their claws into your lawn and stealing all the water, sunlight, and nutrients from your grass, is to attack them early on.

Spring is the best time to start your weed control mission. This is when weeds start germinating at soil temperatures of 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Within a week of the temperature staying between 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit, weeds slowly start emerging from the soil. This usually occurs around the end of March or early April.

By monitoring your soil temperature in early spring, you’ll be better prepared for beating weed attacks before they have a chance to grow.

3. Applying Pre-Emergent

Pre-emergents are used before the weeds start showing up in the lawn. The chemicals in these weed killers don’t interfere with germination but rather hinder the growth.

But wait… won’t this herbicide damage grass? 

Not necessarily, as long as you apply it at the right temperature and at the right time.

Keep in mind that there is still a good chance of germination occurring a few months later, so I hate to break it to you, but the weed-killing process is actually ongoing.

Annual applications must be made in order to reduce large infestations of weeds. But when is the best time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide, I hear you ask? Late fall or early spring when the soil temperature is just right.

Annual applications must be made in order to control weed growth and spread.

When is the best time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide? Late fall or early spring because the soil temperature is right.

How to apply: This herbicide comes in either granular or liquid form. To activate the granular type of pre-emergent, you must water the ground surface where it is to be applied. As a rule of thumb, around 0.5 inches of irrigation will suffice, or you may want to apply the herbicide just before it rains. 

Tips On Keeping Lawn Weed Free 

A fertilized garden full of healthy and dense growth is less likely to be invaded by weeds. Therefore, consider fertilizing your lawn before applying weed control products.

Another important tip to remember is to fertilize your lawn once in the spring and once in the fall for the best results.

As I mentioned before, chemical weed control products only work for a few months, after which weeds will reappear. For longer-lasting results, consider using landscape fabric in areas of the lawn where you don’t have any plants or flowers. A landscape fabric blocks the sun from the covered area and prevents weeds for several years.

Here are some quick weed prevention tips:

  • Regularly feed to encourage strong growth
  • Sow more grass seed throughout your lawn to keep it dense
  • Apply pre-emergent to the soil surface before those weeds start growing
  • Mow the grass often

Getting Rid Of Weeds In Lawn Naturally 

4. Lawn Aeration

Compacted soil is the enemy of a great lawn. Grassroots plants struggle to get access to enough oxygen, water, and nutrients down to their roots. Meanwhile, weeds take over.

Invest in one of the many lawn aeration tools available, allowing you to reintroduce airflow and nutrients by creating deep, thin holes across your lawn surface.

5. Pull weeds out by hand

Perhaps the most environmentally friendly way to get rid of weeds is to pull them out by hand. These weeds can then be left to dry in the sun and used as compost or mulch.

However, it’s easier said than done when it comes to pulling out all those weeds from a large lawn area. So if you’re looking for quicker ways, you may want to try my other suggestions instead.

6. Use a home-made herbicide

Boiling water is by far the simplest (and safest) natural herbicide you can use to kill your weeds. Simply boil a large pot of water on the stove, then pour it over the leaves and stems of the weeds.

Boiling water doesn’t harm the environment and works effectively to burn the weeds. A word of caution: take extra care when carrying the big pot of boiling water as you don’t want to burn yourself in the process.

7. Sprinkle cornmeal

Simply sprinkle your lawn with cornmeal to prevent the seeds from germinating. This natural treatment is best done in the early spring. Note: Don’t try this method in your vegetable garden. Otherwise, you won’t harvest anything!

8. Cover with mulch

Mulch is another highly effective and natural way of preventing weed seeds from coming into contact with the soil. Mulch will also keep sunlight away from the seeds, so they’ll have no chance of sprouting.  

9. Pickle them with vinegar

Okay, I have to confess, it’s not exactly pickling, but white vinegar is proven to kill weeds. When the leaves come into contact with white vinegar, they will die quickly. This natural treatment is readily available in most garden stores and supermarkets.

When buying this household item, look for a minimum of 5% acetic acid (or up to 20%). You can spray the vinegar on the weed leaves, but be careful not to spray on the soil or nearby grass. Be sure to repeat this application several times a month for the best results.

With a quick sweeping motion, slice the top of the weed. Hoeing for a few hours will make your hands sore, so make sure you change hands frequently. Just be careful not to take a divot in the lawn.

Best Lawn Weeding Tools 

Weeding is admittedly one of the most dreaded gardening tasks that we all dislike. While pulling weeds by hand is a back-breaking task, a better alternative is to use a gardening tool. The following weeding tools will make your battle with weeds much easier:

There are two basic types of weeding tools: short-handled and long-handled tools. The short-handled weeding tools (like the hoe dag) require you to work on your knees, while the latter (like the heavy-duty four-claw end) allows you to stand and weed a larger area.

Tools For shallow-rooted weeds

I recommend using a short-handled garden hoe or a sharp knife for medium-sized weeds. Start by cutting the weeds slightly below the soil line. Angle the hoe so the tip of the sharp blade touches the soil below the ground surface.

Tools For deep-rooted weeds

It’s best to use a weeding tool, like a claw weeder. To use this tool, place the tip of the claw blade next to the weed’s stem and push down in a vertical motion. The weeder should then be articulated by the foot pedal in order to get the entire root out.

Keep in mind that using claw weeders can be a more time-consuming task than hoes, as you need to remove each weed individually. Having said that, the tool works effectively for deep-rooted weeds.

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Final Thoughts On Controlling Lawn Weed

Weed problems can be time-consuming to rectify, but with a little effort, patience, and of course, my tips and recommendations, you can reclaim your lawn and say goodbye to those invasive weeds.

To get rid of weeds in your lawn you can try pre-emergent herbicides, manually pulling the weeds, aerating your lawn, or using a more natural, homemade solution.

FAQs On How To Get Rid Of A Lawn Full Of Weeds

What kills weeds without killing grass?

There are specific herbicides designed for broadleaf weeds that can target weeds while sparing grass.

How do I permanently stop weeds from growing in my lawn?

Consistent lawn care practices like proper mowing, fertilization, and overseeding can help create healthy grass that prevents weeds from growing. Pre-emergent herbicides can prevent weed germination.

What causes weeds to take over a lawn?

Weak or thin grass, poor soil conditions, and inadequate lawn care practices can create opportunities for weeds to thrive and take over. Keeping up with these will ensure your lawn stays healthy and strong.

What is the cheapest way to kill grass and weeds?

One of the cost-effective methods is to manually smother the area with layers of cardboard or newspaper, followed by mulch. This will suffocate the grass and weeds over time.

What kills weeds and grass the fastest?

Non-selective herbicides containing glyphosate (like RoundUp) are effective at killing both weeds and grass quickly.

Is bleach or vinegar better for weeds?

Vinegar (acetic acid) is often preferred for weed control over bleach, as bleach can have harmful effects on soil and the environment.

How do I get rid of weeds and reseed in my lawn?

First, you’ll want to remove weeds manually or with selective herbicides. Then, after clearing, prepare the soil, reseed with the grass seed of your choice, and follow proper watering and care routines.

Will grass grow back after vinegar?

Grass can grow back after vinegar application, especially if the vinegar is applied carefully and not excessively. It’s important to support regrowth with proper lawn care practices.

Can I still use pre-emergent herbicide if I already have weeds?

No. Pre-emergent only works for weeds that haven’t started growing yet. If your lawn is already full of weeds, you need to use a post-emergent herbicide. Keep in mind that post-emergent weed killers will mainly work on the sprouted or emerged broad-leaf weeds, not grassy weeds.

How do you clear a yard full of weeds naturally?

We can take a more direct approach to clearing a yard full of weeds.

  1. Use a weed suppressant fabric or cardboard to cover large areas of ground for a whole season
  2. Use a gas burner to target individual taproot weeds. The gas flame changes the root cell structure and kills the weed
  3. Use any one of the many great hoeing tools available, with both long-handle and short-handle options available.