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With all the work you put into caring for your lawn, the last thing you want is to have weeds pop up and take over. If you’ve spotted one weed, others will most likely appear soon if you don’t take action to control the problem. Keeping your lawn thick and healthy can go a long way toward preventing weeds, but it might not be enough.

How to Remove Weeds
If there are only a few weeds scattered across your lawn, you may be able to pull them out by hand. This works best with annual weeds, such as crabgrass and chickweed, because they have shallow roots. Perennial weeds, such as dandelions, have deeper roots. If you don’t remove the roots entirely, they’ll grow back.

For weeds with deep roots, you can use an herbicide. Make sure you choose a product that is appropriate for the species of grass and weed. If you aren’t sure what type of weeds you’re dealing with, ask an employee at a local garden center for help.

You need to choose an herbicide that’s also appropriate for the weeds’ stage of development. If you’ll apply the product before weeds have begun to grow, use a pre-emergent treatment. If the weeds are already established, you’ll need a post-emergent treatment.

How to Prevent Weeds
Grass is healthy when it has deep roots. Instead of watering the grass a little every day, water it deeply, but less often, so the water can penetrate the roots and they can grow deeper. That’ll make the grass thicker and help prevent weed growth. Aerating and dethatching can also keep your lawn healthy.

Weeds are more likely to grow when a lawn is stressed and not well fed. Fertilize your lawn every six to eight weeks to provide it with the nutrients it needs to grow thick and prevent weeds from taking root.

Weeds need sunlight to grow. Don’t cut more than a third of the length of the grass at any one time. That’ll leave the grass blades high enough to create shade, which will reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the soil and make it harder for weeds to grow.

If your lawn has had one or more types of weeds in the past, they’ll most likely reappear. Apply a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring, when plants are just starting to sprout and are most vulnerable, to prevent weeds from growing.

Get Rid of Weeds and Keep Them From Coming Back
Weeds are a common source of frustration for homeowners. They can be hard to get rid of once they’ve taken root and spread. Caring for your lawn the right way can help prevent weeds, but you may have to use an herbicide as well. If you need help, visit a local garden center or nursery and ask a professional for advice.