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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
Just about my entire yard is weeds right now.  I am in Dallas Texas.  The yard people did a weed&feed about 1 month ago, but i see little to no impact in the back yard.  What can I do to get rid of the weeds and encourage the grass to grow.  Half my back yard is shaded while the other half is not.  I like the softness of the St Augustine grass, but it doesn't grow well in the unshaded areas of the backyard.  Any suggestions? 
Posted 2017-04-20T20:57:49+0000  by mmscott92
We had a giant pit in our front yard that we just had filled and graded and topsoil put down and are planning on planting grass seed soon like in the next week or so. We have some of our old yard left that wasn't dug up but it's got a lot of weeds mixed in. We are both newbies when it comes to lawn care, planting, maintaining, so we are unsure what to do about the old yard. Do we put weed killer over it and then wait until spring to seed that area? We just don't want our new grass to become weed infested. We are in the Seattle, WA area. 
This is a photo of our yard as it is today. You can see the existing grass close to the house. Thank you for your help!
Posted 2017-09-13T04:16:48+0000  by RNeub

Hi RNeub.


Looks like you have your work cut out for you.  Seattle WA is in zone 8b, so a fescue will work well for your area.  Getting rid of your weeds will be a continuous job for you.  Once you have your lawn area leveled out, you want to add a good soil amendment.  Avoid using steer manure as it is loaded with weed seeds.


My recommendation would be to manually pull/dig the weeds out using your Garden Fork.  You will have some weed seeds left behind but those can be dealt with as they grow.  In about 4 months, you should be able to use a Weed N Feed, either a hose end sprayer or the granular.   


Once you have your base soil amended, you will want to add a good Topper such as Scotts Lawn Soil or Kellogg Organic Topper.  After your soil has been amended, use a sod roller help settle/compact the soil down a bit. Water the area well and allow the soil to settle again. 


Your next step will be to apply about 1 inch of topper.  Once the topper has been applied, use a good quality fescue such as Scotts Tall Fescue, Scotts Turf Builder Contractors Mix (Northern) Grass Seed, or Scotts Water Saver.


Feel free to over seed heavily, but use a lawn spreader so that you will get a uniform coverage. Once the seed has been laid down, you will want to cover the seed with a 1/8 to 1/4 inch of a good quality topper.  Water the area frequently so that the soil stays damp. You can also add a Starter Fertilizer to help speed up the germination of your newly planted grass seed.  Water in after application.  You should have seed germination in about 10-14 days.


As long as your area does not freeze, your fescue should keep on growing.  As your new grass grows up and gets taller, the root system will also reach down into the good soil you have.  Once the grass starts to grow, you will want to water less often but for longer periods.  When you deep water, the root system of your new fescue will reach down into the damp rich soil you applied. 


You should be able to water 1-2 times a week, depending on your weather once your grass has matured which will be in about 5-6 months.  Keep you fescue about 1-1/2 to 2 inches tall, no more.  Be sure to regularly sharpen your mower blade to give your lawn a clean cut.

To help thicken up your grass, you can over seed every 3-4 months.  You can also add a light coating of topper right after you have over seeded to help feed your new grass.


Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.



Posted 2017-09-15T19:15:14+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
Lots of weeds and bald spots here in SE MI. Not sure where/how to start to get this under control.
From the posts here, it seems like this is usually a fall project. It's May now and spring has finally arrived. Lawn (not sure you can really call it that right now) is approx. 2000 sft.; full sun exposure. Lots of clay and little top soil.
I am looking forward to suggestions on how to best tackle this.

Posted 2018-05-08T20:53:15+0000  by wafflefan
Hello Wafflefan.  Welcome to the Community!

Your lawn is not so straightforward as some others in this post.  While some areas may only need some weed 'n feed followed by watering a couple days later, other parts are really barren.  When the soil is so poor that weeds do not thrive, then more drastic measures are called for.

What I would do is to send soil samples to be analyzed for nutrients, pH and organic content.  Michigan State University Extension offers just this service for a nominal fee.  Here's a link:

MSU Extension Soil Testing

Once you have the results you will have a much better idea of how to proceed.

In general, when it's time to plant new grass seed, for your area a blend of perennial rye and fescue grass should do well.  These are often found in "Sun 'n Shade" mixes by various brands.


Posted 2018-05-11T18:27:37+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
Greetings from Dallas, TX. Just bought a new construction home. Front yard got sod, back yard got nothing but weeds. Also, all the exposed ground that we see is pretty much just sand several inches deep, so we probably need to bring in at least 2-3" of topsoil (mix in or no?). No trees in our yard, so not much shade, especially around noon. It would be nice to get a lawn going this summer, but I'm afraid that by the time we raze the backyard of all the weeds, it will be too late/ too hot to put down seed (thinking of having some pros do hydroseed). Kinda stumped on how best to proceed, short of sodding the whole back yard, which really isnt in the budget.

Behold my kingdom of weeds.
Posted 2018-05-22T00:36:06+0000  by entgeigan

Hi Entgeigan.


You do have a really good crop of weeds growing in your back yard!!  You will need to get going on weed removal ASAP, before the weeds completely take over your back yard.


Rototilling the back yard is an option, but I would highly recommend removing the weeds first.  The best way to accomplish this is by removing each weed.  I like to use a Garden Fork/Tilling Fork.  This tool will dig up the root system and allow you to pull the weed out completely, seeds and all.


As you have guessed, this is a labor intensive project.  Once the yard has been cleared of weeds, it time to add a soil amendment.  Check your local Home Depot.  Some very good quality soil is provided by Kellogg.


The Kellogg Soils come in a smaller bag, so buying it in multiple bags would be expensive.  It is a very good quality soil, but it would bust the budget. 


Home Depot does offer bulk compost in 5 cu. yd. and 15 cu. yd. amounts as well as a top soil.  The compost is a courser sift would be best mixed into your sandy soil about 4-6 inches followed be a good quality tops soil for the top inch of your lawn.


Unfortunately, The Home Depot does not offer Hydroseeding. There are several companies in your area that can help you get a quote for Hydroseeding in your area. 


Before you hydroseed, be sure to do your soil amendments first.  You can rent a rototiller from your local Home Depot Tool Rental.


A sprinkler system should also be added at this time as well.



For more shade in the future, this would be a good time to plant some trees in your yard.  Check with your local Home Depot Garden Department for recommendations for your area.




I kind of like the Live Oak and it looks like you have the space for it as well. The Shumard Oak will be smaller than the Live Oak, but that will be up to you.  One Live Oak would probably be enough to cover your whole yard when it matures though.  The Nutall Oak may be a good choice as well but it does produce lots of edible acorns after about 20 years of growth.


Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.



Posted 2018-05-22T18:20:01+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
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