Of the many things that can be an issue in your Northern Virginia lawn, weeds have got to be the worst among them.
They show up nearly without even a tiny warning, and before you know it their leggy, spiny, bizarre-looking, off-green leaves are invading your once nicely even-toned, thick lawn. And weeds never seem to travel alone. Before you know it, you have a whole host of lawn invaders to deal with. It’s almost not fair.
This is especially true when you feel like you’re doing a great job maintaining a healthy lawn and weeds seem to sneak in and double or triple overnight.
That’s OK. Your weed troubles are over. Turf’s Up is here to give you the ultimate guide to lawn weeds: how to identify, destroy, and – most importantly – prevent those nasty lawn runners so you can enjoy your yard again.
Table of Contents
- How to Identify Weeds in Your Lawn
- How to Get Rid of and Control Weeds in Your Lawn
- Is Weed Control Safe for Kids and Pets?
- Should You Hire a Lawn Care Service for Weed Control?
- How Much Does Lawn Weed Control Service Cost?
- How to Choose and Hire a Lawn Care Company
How to Identify Weeds in Your Lawn
The first step of any weed guide must begin with proper lawn weed identification.
After all, if you don’t know what weed you’re fighting, you can’t very well attempt to tackle it. Why? Because certain weeds are better fought in specific ways. And you want to get rid of weeds, right? That means you have to better know the enemy you’re fighting.
In Northern Virginia, we have many different varieties of weeds – some more common than others. Let’s look at some of the more common weeds we deal with so you can better identify weeds in your lawn.
This classic weed stands out due to its bright yellow flowers.
A versatile and hardy weed, dandelion seeds can live in your soil even when conditions aren’t best for their germination. Wind carries the seeds – and therefore the weeds – giving them additional growing power.
Since dandelions are perennials, they can come back even when they appear to whither above ground. The trick is to target them with a selective, liquid, broadleaf weed control spray while they are actively growing.
Welcome to one of the most common lawn weeds in Northern Virginia – chickweed.
It strikes in early spring, thriving in thinning areas of your lawn. It can become thick and matted with small white flowers, making it tough to control. You have to catch this winter annual weed early with selective liquid broadleaf weed control before it has an opportunity to die.
Reddish-purple dots adorn the leaves of this common lawn weed in Northern Virginia.
Germinating in mid-spring, spotted spurge loves summer heat, exhibiting flowers during the months of June through September. Thousands of seeds can result, spreading this weed like wildfire, particularly in thinning areas of your lawn.
You have to catch this weed when it's young and tender with broadleaf weed control. Early lawn weed identification can help with earlier weed management.
An incredibly fast-spreading weed, white clover takes advantage of bare spots or thin lawn areas to sneak in and then take over. If your soil has a lower pH, that can also encourage this weed to grow.
White clover’s hardy white flowers draw bees to your lawn. Luckily, this weed is easy to control with selective, liquid, broadleaf weed control products.
One of the worst common lawn weeds in Northern Virginia is an annual grassy weed known as crabgrass.
A rapid spreader, just one of these weeds can produce up to 75,000 or more seeds during one growing season. Its thick, attractive clumps take over in your lawn’s thinnest spots, areas where you mowed too short, or at your lawn edges near driveways or walkways.
Thick, healthy lawns can usually keep crabgrass away. Since crabgrass is tougher to control after it emerges, it’s best to manage this one with a pre-emergent weed control product and then spot spray with post-emergent weed control products in case of any breakthrough.
How to Get Rid of and Control Weeds in Your Lawn
Once you identify the problem weed or weeds in your lawn, the next step is to tackle them and then prevent weeds from growing.
There are many strategies to do this. Let’s review them.
A Comprehensive Weed Control Strategy is Best
To truly get rid of lawn weeds, you can’t just spray one product and call it a day. You must have a thorough and comprehensive plan.
Some weeds are best controlled before they emerge, requiring precise application timing and a product targeted for pre-emergent control, while others respond better to post-emergent products when they are young. You should use both strategies in your weed control plan to ensure you’re hitting all of the weeds in your lawn.
Timing is Everything When You Want to Get Rid of Lawn Weeds
In Northern Virginia, you have the benefits of experiencing the seasons in all their glory – spring, summer, fall, and winter.
Unfortunately, there’s a weed for every season, too. As you’re enjoying your lawn in spring, you might see crabgrass, In summer, you could spot dandelions. And it just goes on until winter. And, guess what, there are even weed seeds that lay dormant in your soil during winter. You just can’t escape them.
During each season, there are various weeds you need to battle. Proper timing is crucial for eliminating weeds the first time and avoiding continuous outbreaks. Spring and summer are usually the biggest times for controlling weeds in your lawn because a good number of them can emerge at this time.
Again, knowing your lawn weeds and when the optimum time is to fight them can make all your seasons weed-free.
A Great Lawn Will Naturally Limit Weeds
In addition to weed control that is based on proper weed identification, knowledge of how best to fight that weed, and well-timed control with the right products, you can prevent weeds from growing by promoting a healthy stand of grass.
Consider this strategy a natural defense. Weeds prefer compacted and dry lawns with thin areas that are mown incorrectly, aren’t fertilized, and are weak. A comprehensive lawn care plan that includes a soil test, fertilization to address nutrient deficiencies, proper mowing and watering, and annual aeration, overseeding, and topdressing, in addition to weed control, will be your best defense against Northern Virginia weeds.
Is Weed Control Safe for Kids and Pets?
You might be wondering on your quest to eliminate weeds from your Northern Virginia yard, “Are lawn weed killers safe?”
To tell you the truth, most of the active ingredients lawn care professionals use are also sold in various products and to varying degrees at your local home improvement stores in weaker, DIY formulations.
Therefore, the key to the safety of lawn weed control and pets or lawn weed control and kids is proper usage. Weed control products are very safe when used properly per label directions and applied by an experienced and trained professional.
And once a liquid weed control product is dry, the lawn is safe for children and pets to play on. Your lawn care service provider may tell you to wait a few hours to ensure your liquid product is thoroughly dry, but it will usually dry in approximately 30 minutes or sometimes faster on a hotter day.
Should You Hire a Lawn Care Service for Weed Control?
Your lawn is important to you. We understand.
You might see the sunshine and think you should just find a few products and get to work. How hard can it be? You might also look at your long list of to-dos and think you might not have the time to even think about your lawn, let alone get the rest done.
There are two options when it comes to lawn care service: DIY weed control and professional lawn care. Let’s look at the differences.
DIY Weed Control Pros and Cons
When you want to fight weeds in your yard, DIY weed control is certainly an option. And there are a few steps you must take to do this properly.
First, you must properly identify the weed. Once you know what your problem weed is, you can do some research on the best ways to battle this type of weed. Next, you can choose the right product to control it, as well as any equipment necessary, such as a granular spreader or a liquid sprayer. Timing is important for control, so you’ll want to make sure you have looked into that as well. Then, read the product’s label instructions so you know how to properly apply the product.
Repeat this process for each weed you have to remove in your lawn. Knowing the weed and its growth habits is essential to timing your application for maximum, consistent results. Some weeds are best controlled with pre-emergent herbicides and some weeds are best controlled using post-emergent herbicides.
Building your DIY weed control knowledge is not a simple task. It takes experienced technicians years to learn the fundamentals so they can take the tests necessary to obtain the proper licensing and certifications. It’s also important to understand Virginia state laws when it comes to proper lawn care applications, as well as stay up-to-date on best practices and application techniques.
Choosing to Hire a Professional Lawn Care Service Provider
When you hire a Northern Virginia weed control service, all of this guesswork is done for you on every single weed that shows up. It’s a part of your comprehensive lawn care program, and you don’t have to think about it or waste your valuable weekend or evening time learning about weeds when you could be doing other things you enjoy.
On top of that, with a lawn care company you get the benefits of proactive care, which limits problems and stresses that can cause weed outbreaks and boosts your curb appeal to boot.
How Much Does Lawn Weed Control Service Cost?
Every time a Northern Virginia lawn care company stops by your home to take care of your lawn, they usually conduct one or more treatments. This all depends on the state of your lawn, the time of year, and what your specific lawn requires.
Your lawn weed control service cost will be based on your home lawn’s square footage. And the bonus is that weed control is part of a more comprehensive program designed to improve your overall lawn health, performance, and appearance.
As you look to hire a lawn care professional, make sure to ask how many visits and applications are included in the lawn care service cost. If you see a large difference in pricing between companies, this could be because they don’t offer the same number of visits or applications compared to other companies or they charge separately for various services.
Lawn care programs are typically offered in multiple service tiers, and weed control is commonly a part of these packages. Extras are usually things like aeration, overseeding, and topdressing or insect or mosquito control if they aren’t part of the highest end package.
Each year, your lawn care professional will take care of weeds as part of your overall lawn care service cost. Some years, there will be more weeds, and some years you will have fewer weeds. A lot of this depends on Mother Nature, weather conditions, your lawn’s specific conditions. Each year, if you are choosing the same lawn care package, your cost will remain the same – no matter how many weeds you have.
This is a fair way for lawn care companies to deliver the care your lawn needs without adding itemized or incremental charges, so you can receive the best services and not have to constantly worry about exceeding your budget.
How to Choose and Hire a Lawn Care Company
As you get outside and assess the state of your lawn, you might find you feel overwhelmed with what you find.
That’s when you might feel better bringing in some assistance in boosting your lawn’s health and eliminating problems you found, like weeds, brown or thin spots, and other issues.
When you choose a lawn care company, you want to make sure you find someone you trust. You definitely don’t want to pick a professional who makes promises up front and then swiftly doesn't deliver on them. Who needs that stress?
Before you sign a contract or hire a business for the job, there are a few key things you will want to consider as you make your choice.
Service Fees Are Only One Part of the Equation
In order for you to compare apples to apples when you want to hire a lawn care service, you need to make sure you know what the costs include for an accurate comparison.
Then, you want to go deeper. Is preventive weed control a part of their services? Do they monitor for weeds and insects throughout the year when they are fertilizing your lawn? These things should be part of their package.
Cheaper rates typically mean reduced services or lower quality. You want a reliable partner in your lawn care so you don’t have to micromanage it.
How Responsive is the Lawn Care Company?
When you hire a lawn care service in Northern Virginia, you don’t want someone who you talk to in the beginning and then never hear from again. You certainly don’t want someone who is hard to reach when you need them most – like when you have a party coming up and you spot a bunch of weeds or major issues you’d like them to address.
You don’t want to feel like a number or ignored. That’s not what you’re paying for. You want a company that cares about your lawn as if it’s their own.
Does the Lawn Care Company Offer Personalized Service?
Every lawn is different. Your lawn may have different soil conditions, sun exposure, problems, and issues. Your neighbor’s lawn may be on the complete opposite spectrum of these attributes. You want to choose a lawn care company that recognizes that.
That means the lawn care company you hire should conduct a soil test as part of their services to tell you exactly what’s happening in your soil and structure your lawn care program to meet those deficiencies and needs. Your soil is the base of your lawn; without knowing about your soil’s limitations and treating them, you can’t very well get the thick, green lawn you’re after.
What Kind of Reputation Does the Lawn Care Company Have?
When you hire a lawn care service, it’s also important to check out their reviews online.
This way, you can gain an understanding of how they work, whether or not they are responsive, whether their customers are generally happy with their service, and how they treat their customers.
You can even ask for recommendations from customers to get an idea of a company’s performance and reliability.
Make a Choice You’re Happy With
As you choose a lawn care company to tackle your weed problems, you’re likely already frustrated by the fact that weeds are invading your lawn. You don’t need more stress.
Weeds are certainly enough to worry about. You don’t want to hire someone who isn’t going to manage them for you – or worse – is going to give you a hard time or treat you poorly during the process, and not even take care of your weed problem.
You just want to enjoy your lawn – weed-free. Choose a company that makes you feel good about your results and treats you and your lawn like a priority.
Ready to learn why Turf’s Up could be your totally awesome choice for lawn care services in Northern Virginia? We’re stoked to learn more about you and help you have the best lawn on the block. Get started today with a free quote. Together, we can prepare a customized plan that is perfect for you and your lawn.