How to Grow Grass in a Weedy Yard


Weeds create problems for many homeowners. These annoying plants take over gardens and lawns, choking out desirable varieties of plants. Many types of weeds thrive in soil intended for grass lawns. Replace weedy yards with healthy, green lawns by removing existing weeds before planting grass seed. Maintain a lawn free of weeds by eradicating new weeds before they take over healthy areas of green grass.

Step 1

Remove the existing weeds from your yard. Avoid planting new weed seeds by eradicating weeds before they reach maturity and begin producing seeds. The best time to remove weeds is in early spring when the soil is workable. Cut the tops of long weeds with a lawn mower or weed trimmer. Get rid of the roots by running a rototiller over the planting site. Pull out stubborn weed roots. Rake out all traces of vegetation pulled up by tilling, including roots, stems and leaves.

Step 2

Test the soil in your yard. Grass requires soil nutrients to thrive. Poor soils often encourage weedy conditions, creating a difficult environment for healthy grass. Perform the soil test according the instructions included with the test. Add all nutrients recommended by your soil test results. Mix added nutrients into soil with your rototiller. Smooth the surface with a rake.

Step 3

Apply a pre-emergent herbicide formulated for use in lawn areas. These herbicides kill remaining weed seeds, leaving a fresh bed of soil for your grass seeds. Follow all instructions on the herbicide container. Allow the recommended period of time after application before planting new grass seeds.

Step 4

Plant your new grass seeds over your prepared site. Encourage healthy growth by watering frequently during seed germination and sprouting. Keep soil slightly moist during the first few weeks. Pull out any weeds found growing among the new grass seedlings.

Step 5

Apply a post-emergent herbicide to weeds that emerge in mature grass. Select a variety listed for use in grass lawns. Follow all instructions on the package when applying the herbicide.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use only herbicides specified as safe for use on your type of grass.

Things You'll Need

  • Rototiller
  • Rake
  • Soil test kit
  • Pre-emergent herbicide
  • Post-emergent herbicide


  • University of Florida: Grass Weeds Fall Into Florida Lawns
  • Texas A&M University: Weed Control in St. Augustine Grass
  • University of Maryland: Perennial Grass Weeds and Their Control in Cool Season Turf
Keywords: remove weeds, grass weeds, lawn care

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.