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Remove weeds first, or just let grass grow long?


Joined: Apr 30, 2010
Posts: 3

I recently moved into house from a condo (Pacific Northwest - Coast of British Columbia Canada).

We have a pretty good sized yard. The previous owners neglected the grass, and it's full of weeds (although the soil itself seems pretty deep, and there are no dead / bald patches). Just seems like everything is growing with the weeds winning significantly in some areas.

I'm going the natural route, and don't want chemicals. I also use a push / reeel mower. I've been working to manually remove weeds. After doing so, there are small divots where the weed root was, with a yellow area where the weed leaves blocked the sun from the grass.

Should I sprinkle a few grass seedds in those areas, or just ignore, keep the grass @ 3 inches, hoping that eventually grass spreads there, rather than weeds popping back up?

Oh, if you need a pic of the weeds / lawn, please let me know.



Joined: Apr 30, 2010
Posts: 3
Sorry - part two to my post....

There are other areas where the weeds are so dense that they are kinds of lumped together and are hard to move. Can I just leave those, and hope the long grass will help, or should I dig out patches of the lawn, add some topsoil / compost and grass seed?

ronie dee

Joined: Mar 04, 2009
Posts: 594
Location: Cosby MO
It's real difficult to advise you what you should do without knowing what you want to do.

DO you know what the weeds are? Do you like or know if you like wild greens? Some weeds are good to eat and good for survival food.

One mans weed is another mans delight. I for one love wild stinging nettles. I also keep 'weeds' like Sun Choke, asters, milk weed, hops, as well as medicinal herbs...especially plantain.

By killing the weeds you may also be destroying a habitat for another living thing... I mowed an area at my place that had been a wild area forever. This allowed raccoons to get around easier and come to find out it was an area that protected a breeding ground for wild geese.. the raccoons easily found the geese eggs and the geese died trying to protect their eggs.

The place where wild weeds grow can sometimes be the best spot for a garden. The cycle of growth and pushing roots down into the soil then the plant dying off and decomposing can make some really good soil.

What you should do really depends on what you want to do.

If i ever wanted to turn a weedy area into garden or lawn, I just wait til spring and mow the weeds. Mowing will keep the weeds small and allow grasses to compete and grow usually. Or after mowing you can till the area for garden. Or a thick layer of mulch will also kill the tiny spring weeds.

Sometimes the answer is not to cross an old bridge, nor to burn it, but to build a better bridge.

Joined: Apr 30, 2010
Posts: 3
Thanks for the reply.
I prefer a regular lawn. I am not fussy in the sense that I need 100% grass. A bit of thyme or moss etc is fine. I just don't care for the big ugly suckers.

Here's a couple of pictures of what I'm up against. So far I've collected about a half dozen wheel barrows full of weeds, with plenty more to go.


[Thumbnail for DSC03197 (Medium).JPG]

[Thumbnail for DSC03198 (Medium).JPG]

ronie dee

Joined: Mar 04, 2009
Posts: 594
Location: Cosby MO
I can't tell for sure what they are...kinda looks like wild mustard. But then a lot of plants have that serrated leaf... If it has a yellow flower with four petals it is probably mustard.

Looks like you have enough to start a decent compost pile>//
paul wheaton

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 17444
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
Can you dig a hole a foot or two deep and send us a pic?  I suspect your soil is pretty shallow. 

If I were there, I wouldn't pull the weeds.  Too much work.  I would focus on getting a tall, thick turf which will naturally outcompete the weeds. 

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subject: Remove weeds first, or just let grass grow long?