How to Kill Chickweed in a Lawn

Overview

Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a ground-hugging weed found growing in gardens and lawns throughout the United States. Its fast growth, rapid seed production and hardy nature make it a nuisance in many lawns as it competes with your grass for space and soil nutrients. Gardeners and homeowners can use various methods to remove, kill and control chickweed in their lawn to preserve the health and appearance of their grass.

Step 1

Tear out the chickweed in your lawn manually. This option is ideal for small patches of chickweed growth. Thoroughly irrigate your lawn to moisten and loosen the soil. Grasp the chickweed at the center of its spreading mass and pull away from the soil. For assistance in removal, use a garden fork or hand-held garden spade.

Step 2

Use an organic herbicide formulated with citrus oils, obtained from some garden outlets, health food stores and nurseries. This is ideal for homeowners who do not wish to use potentially toxic chemical-based weed killer. Spritz directly onto the chickweed according to the manufacturer's guidelines, as potency differs among products. Avoid widespread use on your lawn, as such herbicides are typically non-selective and may kill your grass.

Step 3

Use a post-emergent lawn herbicide. This strategy is ideal for widespread chickweed control and is less labor-intensive than manual removal. Such products can be found from most major lawn care brands and are designed to target weed species such as chickweed without harming common grass varieties, such as Bermuda or zoysia. Spray across your entire lawn during a dry-weather period.

Step 4

Apply a granular pre-emergent lawn herbicide after spraying your lawn with the post-emergent product. This prevents chickweed seeds lying amongst your grass from germinating. Such products can be obtained from most nurseries and are usually combined with a lawn fertilizer to boost the health of your lawn.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden fork
  • Hand-held spade
  • Organic citrus oil herbicide
  • Post-emergent lawn herbicide
  • Pre-emergent lawn herbicide

References

  • Botanical Herb Information: About Chickweed
  • "Insect, Disease & Weed I.D. Guide: Find-It-Fast Organic Solutions for Your Garden;" Jill Jesiolowski Cebenko and Deborah L. Martin; 2001
  • "The Lawn Bible;" David Mellor; 2003

Who Can Help

  • Government of Alberta: Lawn Care Tips
Keywords: kill chickweed, remove chickweed, lawn weeds

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.