Manual removal of dandelion

How to remove lawn weeds

Lawn in the garden represents more than just covering empty plant-free space. When a lawn is loved and cared for, it can make your garden stand out in the neighbourhood. It can go as far as creating a large focal point, or it can simply be your pride and joy. Furthermore, the lawn can create a peaceful environment to relax, meditate or practice yoga.


Therefore, we understand how frustrating it can be at times to see a once-prestigious lawn covered in weeds. Dandelions, daisies, ribwort, clover, and buttercup are only a few that come to the forefront of most people’s minds. Fortunately, staying on top of the weed’s growth is not as difficult as it would seem.



What are weeds? 

Put simply, weeds are troublesome unwanted plants in cultivated spaces. But before you decide to eliminate all weeds, let’s remember a saying. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, or one man’s lawn is another man’s meadow. In other words, let us give you some examples of the weed’s health benefits. 



Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) 

Dandelion is a plant producing yellow flowers and in some places is considered a herb. Flowers, roots, and leaves can be used for medical purposes. Tea made of dandelion can help you lose excess water weight when on diet, improve liver function, and there is even a study promoting its anti-carcinogenic effects.

Dandelion growing in the lawn
Dandelion growing in the lawn

Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) 

This perennial weed with oblong leaves and white flowers produced on the long stems are associated with healing insect bites, skin irritation, and infection when used externally. It also helps to soothe coughing if you choose to make tea from the fresh leaves. 



Chickweed (Stellaria media) 

This unwanted lawn inhabitant, producing white flowers repeatedly throughout the year is usually a great food supply for poultry. Furthermore, the tea made of chickweed can be used to treat respiratory problems and even tuberculosis. 

Chickweed is often fed to poultry
Chickweed is often fed to poultry

Note: Before using any medical homemade remedies discussed above, please consult your doctor for allergies or possible side effects. 


These were only a few examples to justify the presence of weeds in the world’s fauna. However, if you are keen on removing them from your lawn, here is how to do it.


  • Use of lawn fertiliser
  • Manual removal
  • Use of selective weed killer


Use of lawn fertiliser

Lawn fertilisers are offering many benefits including moss kill, providing nutrients, and weed control. While this works to a certain extent, we don’t recommend using it as your primary way to control weeds. The reason is that the overuse of organic matter encourages the build-up of thatch. Thatch is an unwanted layer on top of topsoil needing its removal prior to feeding.


However, the use of a 4-in-1 fertiliser is a viable option when used up to three times a year, with the first application being after scarification, the second halfway through the season, and the last after the second scarification.


It is important to remember that nutritional value changes from spring to autumn. In the spring, the amount of nitrogen is higher to produce vigorous green growth, whereas in the autumn the primary element is phosphorus focusing on root growth.


The 4-in1 fertiliser is granular based. Avoid using it when the grass is wet. The granules stack to grass blades can cause serious burns to your lawn. For the same reason, always water the lawn thoroughly after application to ensure granule dissolvement in water.


If unsure, please read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully or consult your local retailer for further advice.

Some lawn fertilisers control weeds growth
Some lawn fertilisers control weeds growth

Manual removal 

Manual weed removal can be effective during the growing season, especially when being undertaken regularly. If you can spare yourself some time browsing through your lawn weekly, say after mowing, you might spot some tiny weeds just emerging from the ground. Remove the weeds including the roots using a screwdriver, old kitchen knife or anything not leaving a massive mark after removal. 


To remove larger, fully grown weeds, use a hand fork, trout or an old kitchen knife making the best effort to remove the roots to prevent weed regrowth. This can often create a small patch, even a hole in your lawn but that can be easily fixed by overseeding. 

How to remove Dandelions 

Dandelions have a solid tap root rooting deeply down. Use a narrow tool such as an old knife to remove the root as low as possible.

Manual removal of dandelion
Manual removal of dandelion

How to remove Buttercups 

Buttercups are a weed with a creeping habit with nodes rooting to the ground. Remove the primary root with a hand fork together with secondary roots.


How to remove Daisies 

Daisies are often easy to pull out if they’re growing in good textured soil. If appearing in clayey or dry compressed soil, use a hand fork for the best results in root removal. 


How to remove Plantain and chickweed 

Similarly to daisies, these are easy to remove by the roots. A hand fork will be sufficient. 


How to remove Clover 

Clover can be more difficult to remove due to its spreading nature like a buttercup. Identify the main root system and remove it using a hand fork. 


When should I remove weeds manually? 

The best time to remove weeds manually is before they form seeds. As most weeds propagate by self-seeding, seed elimination reduces the weed spread. This can be done anytime during the growing season. 


Use of selective weed killer 

Selective weed killer kills broad-leaved weeds and plants, but not the grass. This type of weed killer does not tackle grassy weeds. If your lawn contains unwanted course grass, manual removal is a viable option. 


A good time to spray a lawn with a selective weedkiller is before scarifying, but you should ensure to allow enough time for the weed to fully die. Scarifier will remove remaining foliage of the weeds and also remove shallow roots of weeds in most cases


Avoid using selective weedkillers on lawns younger than six months. Your lawn needs to be fully established before the application of certain chemicals. Premature application can cause serious damage to your new lawn. However, some weed killers are safe to use even on a new lawn. 


When opting for selective weed killers, bear in mind that a single application may not suffice, especially when dealing with tougher weeds. You can repeat the application during spring and summer and early autumn in six weeks intervals. 


For more information about selective weed killers, consult your local supplier. Please make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions before use.

Use of selective weed killer
Use of selective weed killer

What should I do to prevent weeds from growing on my lawn? 

To prevent weeds from growing on your lawn, keep it as healthy as you can. You should water well, scarify twice a year and aerate, and fertilise regularly to encourage vigorous grass growth providing less space for weeds to grow. Most weeds appear in lawn patches caused by irregular care. You can also mow your lawn in higher settings. Longer and thicker grass can prevent weeds from appearing. 


What some might consider weeds, others might consider herbs. Although most weeds offer medical benefits, their presence in the lawns is not welcome. Fortunately, their removal is not complicated but their growth prevention is a key to stunning lawn.

Looking for garden help and inspiration?

Get in touch today to arrange your personalised consultation.

NEW: World Of Garden Passions
… sharing pro tips and ideas for your dream outdoor living room.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *