We purchased a newly build house several months ago which came with a
new lawn. This summer, we have been plagued by weeds. I spray ortho
weed be gone over most of the lawn every three weeks or so which kills
the current batch of weeds, but lots of weeds still return a few weeks
later. I need a longer term solution. Any suggestions?
There is none; you are doing the only thing you can. continue to kill the
weeds and make sure you fertilize the grass according to the local procedure
or follow the SOD program. SOD for sept., oct., and dec., put recommended
amounts of 10-10-10 in both sept. and oct. and 1/2 the recommended amount in
dec. Lord only knows where the builder got the dirt to use for your lawn so
just keep at it for a couple of years till the grass thickens up. Do not
forget to lime the lawn to maintain a 6.5 or 6.0 to 7.0 pH. Keep at least
three weeks between lime and fertilizer applications.
There are two kinds of weeds: annuals and perennials. Annual weeds grow
from seeds that blow in, germinate, grow, produce more seeds, and die.
Perennial weeds are like annual weeds except that the plant does not die
after producing seeds. One way to address the annual weed problem is with a
pre-emergent herbicide or weed prevent. One of the most recognizable brands
is called Preen. Instead of using the Weed-B-Gone, I would recommend that
you put down an application of pre-emergent herbicide to prevent the weeds
from growing. You will still have to use a post-emergent herbicide to kill
weeds that exist now. In time, if you promote a healthy lawn, there won't
be any opportunity for weeds to grow. For that occasional weed, you can
remove it by hand or spot treat the area.
Weed-B-Gon should get rid of most of the live plants.
My first suggestion is to make sure you're mowing high enough. (Most
people don't.) Two inches or so at a minimum. Three (depending on grass
species, but probably a mix of ryes and fescues, depending on zone) will
shade the soil enough that the new weeds have a harder time coming up.
Mow no more than 1/3 of the grass height, also, so you don't stress the
new lawn (so mow more often than you are, likely). Water deeply and
weekly rather than light sprinkling, so that your grass develops strong
There's going to be weeds in new lawns. Just remember that *all* soil
everywhere contains weed seeds; what's critical is the environment you
If your weeds are crabgrass or other grassy weeds, you'll have to wait
for spring to do a pre-emergent application. It may take a couple of
years, plus some hand-pulling (use a weed fork).
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