The Q&A Archives: There are so many weeds in my lawn!

Question: I do everything i can do make my lawn green but the only thing that will grow is weeds. Do I take the weeds out or not?

Answer: Good soil is the foundation of a healthy lawn. To grow well, your lawn needs soil with good texture, some key nutrients, and the right pH, or acidity/alkalinity balance. Start by checking the texture of your soil to see whether it's heavy with clay, light and sandy, or somewhere in between. Lawns grow best in soil with intermediate or "loamy" soils that have a mix of clay, silt, and sand. Whatever soil type you have, you can probably improve it by periodically adding organic matter like compost, manure, or grass clippings. Organic matter helps to lighten a predominantly clay soil and it helps sandy soil retain water and nutrients. The right type of grass - one that suits your needs and likes the local weather - will always give better results. Grasses vary in the type of climate they prefer, the amount of water and nutrients they need, their resistance to pests, their tolerance for shade, and the degree of wear they can withstand. In Scottsdale, bermuda is the grass of choice, overseeded with perennial rye in the fall. This will give you a green lawn year around. Watering properly will help your lawn grow deep roots that make it stronger and less vulnerable to drought. Most lawns are watered too often but with too little water. It's best to water only when the lawn really needs it, and then to water slowly and deeply. This trains the grass roots down. Frequent shallow watering trains the roots to stay near the surface, making the lawn less able to find moisture during dry periods. At this point, you'll want to kill out the weeds, reseed, then put your lawn on a regular watering, mowing and fertilizing schedule. A thick, lush lawn will crowd out most weeds. I'd kill the weeds and put the lawn on a regular maintenance schedule. Eventually you'll be able to reclaim it. Best wishes with your lawn!

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