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where to start on my yard full of weeds?!!

I have a de cent size backyard that is covered in weeds that have been recently mowed down. There were as tall as me 5'3. I would like to grow grass in my backyard, but need help on where to start. I know I will have to throw some weed killer and rotatiller it, but need advice on what is the best weed killer and best way to get the job done on a budget.grass.JPG

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Posted 2011-06-14T03:22:45+0000  by carmslawn carmslawn

Hi Ironman Tony,


Welcome to The Community!!!


Depending on your proximity to Boise, your climate zone can vary in just a few miles. Check out this interactive map to pinpoint your location by zip code. This will help you to choose the best grass to grow in your yard.


Preparation is your key to success. If the soil is rocky, now is a great time to get them out. Topsoil will be needed to replace any considerable reduction in the yard due to this stone removal. If the yard is not rocky, smooth out any high spots by tilling them and raking the loosened soil into the low spots. Bear in mind that tilling will promote weed growth in that area because weed seed will be exposed in the process.


Adding new topsoil simply for the sake of seeding is not necessary if the soil is fairly good to begin with. Loosen the soil surface by raking or aerating before applying grass seed. Lightly rake the seed into the soil after you have applied it to settle the seed.


You should apply grass seed early in the fall so that it can germinate before frost stops its top growth. Fescue grass ideally should be mower twice before frost hits it. Here, in the deep south, we have a generously long fall season in which to plant fall grasses, but your season is much shorter than mine. Consult the Certified Nursery Consultant at your Home Depot for more specific planting instructions.




Posted 2012-06-19T15:33:37+0000  by Travis_HD_ATL

I live in the burbs of Boston on a really small lot (4300 sq ft) but the weeds are out of control. Not looking for grass so much as ground cover once I get rid of the weeds. It's like a jungle out there and the weeds are almost over my 5'6"head.


Here is what I'm contemplating: Using garden hedge trimmers to bring the weeds down to the ground, covering the entire area, besides the Rose of Sharon trees, with some kind of weed control blanket and then starting again next year. So here is what I'm wondering, Should I also rototill and remove all the old dirt before placing the blanket? Or will the blanket be enough to kill off the weeds?

Posted 2012-07-01T22:26:28+0000  by Bonnie-MA

Hello Bonnie-MA. Ken here in the Chicago area. Welcome to the Community.

Let’s get rid of those weeds. The blanket won’t be enough to kill the weeds.

Take your hedge trimmers and cut the weeds down to the ground. When the new

leaves start to come out, spray them with Roundup. This will take care of the roots too.




Once the weeds are dead, dig them out. Don’t rototill unless the soil is compacted or

clayey. Now is the time to plant your groundcover. Here are some groundcovers for sun

or part-sun: chamomile, irish or scotch moss, and creeping thyme.


 Click for more information about Chamaemelum nobile Chamomile.Click for more information about Sagina subulata Scotch/Irish Moss.Click for more information about Thymus longicaulis Creeping Thyme.


Here are some groundcovers for part-shade or shade: vinca minor and pachysandra.


Click for more information about Vinca minor Creeping Myrtle. Click for more information about Pachysandra terminalis Pachysandra.


Click on the name of the plant or product. Type in the name of the plant and click search.

Click on the name of the plant and it will show you all the info on that plant.

Good luck and take care.

Posted 2012-07-02T20:39:16+0000  by Ken_HD_CHI

Hi, I live in Cleveland, Ohio and my lawn is a mess. Not sure what kind of grass it is or how to begin fixing it. It's brown in spots and have weeds that look like ground cover. Some parts have little white flowers (weeds) that closed up and also  what appears to me as clovers, not sure. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We were thinking about sod but was to see if it can be saved before committing to that expense.




Posted 2012-07-13T20:24:17+0000  by feehop


Greetings Feehop, and Welcome to the How-To-Community!!!


It seems like your yard has been infested by the types of weeds that creep through your yard.  These weeds can be a big time mess, but no worries there is an easy fix for this.  Ortho has a weed killer for these types of weeds. It’s called Weed-B-Gone Chickweed and Clover killer.  This is a concentrate that you will need to mix in a pump sprayer.  This will help control all those pesky weeds, but not harm the grass.  You will need to follow the directions on the back since the weather in the Midwest is super hot.  It will say when the best time to apply it will be.  After a few days you should notice all the creeping stuff turning brown and starting to die off.  The earlier in the year you can eliminate these weeds the better your yard will look!!

 pump sprayer.jpgweed_b-gone.jpg

If you run into any problems or have any questions, please feel free to write back!!!

Posted 2012-07-17T20:27:59+0000  by FlyingHDsod

Wow, everyone seems to have the same question as me! My husband and I bought a foreclosed house and the whole backyard was brown strawy stuff. We cut it all down last winter, but it is coming back now. I saw on the previous posts that you reccommend using the weed killer and starting from scratch.

I live in Southern California where it is hot and dry and my yard has full sun. We also have a dog who has full access to the yard, so would prefer something pretty hearty. What kind of grass seed would you recommend for me?

Lastly, after we kill the weeds and rototill the yard, do we just sprinkle the seed and that's it, or do we have to throw dirt on top (or will there be directions on the bag)?

Thanks ahead of time for any help you can give me.

Posted 2012-07-19T00:29:56+0000  by rachelmccord

Hello rachelmccord. Ken here in the Chicago area. Welcome to the Community.

Since you live in Southern California where it is hot and dry and you have a dog, I

would recommend Bermuda grass. It has excellent traffic tolerance and loves the sun.

It does require frequent mowing and goes dormant in the winter. It is overseeded

with ryegrass in the winter to maintain green color. Its drought tolerant cultivars

are Common Bermuda, Celebration, GN1, Grimes EXP, TExTurf, TifSport, and

Tifway 419.

You want to mow Common Bermuda grass at ¾ to 1-1/2 inches. All the hybrids

mow at ½ to 1 inch. In the winter overseed with perennial ryegrass. I hope this helps.

Here is a great website on how to plant Bermuda grass seed. It must be covered to

germinate. Take care.





Posted 2012-07-19T15:50:23+0000  by Ken_HD_CHI




I also need help. This is what my backyard looks like. All weeds, no grass. I wanted you to see before I cut it down. I live in Capitol Heights, MD. The map says I am what does that mean and what's next? I just want to clear this mess and start over so I can have a nice lawn. 

Also, I have a wooden fence, which is between two other townhomes. How will I prevent their weeds from coming over to my yard?

Thank you! 

Posted 2012-07-26T23:43:38+0000  by tmchis

Hi tmchis,


I'm Travis in Atlanta. Welcome to The Community!!


This seems to be a "Can't see the Forrest for the trees" scenario. The definition of the term, "weed" is, an unwanted plant.


Most of what I see in your yard is grass. Killing established grass, only to replant more, is a 2-step back, 1-step forward routine. Utilize the good plants in your yard and fill in the gaps by seeding fescue or bluegrass this fall.  Many weeds are seasonal and temporary in nature. Simply mowing them on a regular basis can control their growth. Most will starve with weekly mowing.


First, clear out any debris from the yard that could damage your mowing equipment. Hidden toys, lumber scraps, sticks and rocks can destroy a lawnmower. Chop down the tall growth with a string trimmer to make it easier to run the mower in the area. A lawnmower with a grass catcher will help to remove the clippings from the yard.


After you regain control of this overgrown yard, assess the percentage of weed to grass. If it's 60% grass and 40% weed, use a selective herbicide that will kill the weed without harming the grass. If you only have 20% weeds, there's no need to do anything except mow and sow grass seed in September. Most weeds will die in winter and the new grass will continue to develop.


Apply pre-emergent in February and again in May to prevent weed seeds from germinating next spring. You will have fewer weeds and your grass will thrive.


Keep us posted. Thanks for asking.








Posted 2012-07-27T15:10:02+0000  by Travis_HD_ATL

Just bought a house in May in St. Louis, MO. Back yard and front yard are just covered in weeds. My yard is prob 90% weeds, dandelions, broadleaf, you name it. Yard is a fescue mix I believe.    What fertilizer should I use this fall?  After hitting it hard with fertilizer should I then seed it this fall? Thanks for the help.

Posted 2012-08-14T15:03:04+0000  by Franchize34
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