How to Remove Weeds Before Seeding a Lawn


A homeowner's dream is a lush, emerald-green, healthy lawn. This can be achieved by restoring a shoddy lawn, preparing the soil and seeding with grass seed. The best time to renovate a lawn is in early fall when the weed competition is less than in the spring. Fixing and preparing the area for seeding is the most important part of seeding, and this includes removing weeds. Weeds can be removed by hand or machine or killed using an herbicide.

Step 1

Soak your lawn thoroughly, about eight inches deep. This means letting your irrigation system or sprinkler douse the area with water for about a half hour. This will replenish the moisture in the soil, loosening it up and making it easier to remove weeds.

Step 2

Remove thatch if necessary. This can be done with a garden rake, which takes a long time, or with a power rake. Thatch occurs in lawns of certain grass varieties or from lack of upkeep. When raking, you want to loosen up the top two inches of the soil. This process will help remove weeds and dig up weed roots.

Step 3

Pull up weeds physically where they are large and loose enough to pull up the whole root, if raking didn't budge them.

Step 4

Use a broadleaf herbicide for weeds that are non-grasses (broad-leaved). After using a broadleaf herbicide, wait about a month before seeding.

Step 5

Use a nonselective herbicide such as glyphosate for all the green weeds that are grass weeds. This will kill the weeds within two weeks. Use this only on areas that you want completely dead, as it will kill all green plants, including grass. Follow the label directions on how long to wait before seeding, as this depends on the product.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Hand rake or power rake
  • Herbicides


  • University of Minnesota: Lawn Renovation
  • American Lawns: Weed Types
Keywords: lawn renovation, removing weeds, seeding a lawn

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.