How to Have a Weed Free Lawn

A healthy lawn will naturally discourage the growth of weeds.

My front lawn is mostly weeds, but I’d like to have grass. Where do I start? -Anita

Conquering a weedy lawn is quite a challenge! However, you can be successful if you keep one thing in mind: weeds are a signal that the grass in your yard isn’t happy. Simply spraying the weeds and planting more grass seed won’t solve the problem, because something’s causing the grass to die out. A healthy, thick lawn will naturally be low in weeds, and a weedy lawn needs lots of TLC to recover, usually in the form of soil improvement.

I found this out the hard way in my own yard when an inexperienced landscaper regraded my lawn with poor quality subsoil from a construction site. His argument was that the “sterile” soil was free of weed seeds, but I quickly learned that nothing would grow in that terrible soil EXCEPT weeds! Each year since, I have undertaken the steps I’ll explain below, to gradually correct that mistake.

To eliminate weeds from this lawn will take a lot of TLC!

Three Steps to a Weed Free Lawn

If you have the resources, you can always dig out the weeds and poor soil, bring in some high quality topsoil, and replant grass seed or sod. This can be expensive and requires some special equipment, so you may want the help of a licensed landscape contractor.

For a do-it-yourself approach, your best bet is to stop worrying so much about the weeds, and start worrying about your grass. If you focus on improving your soil and getting your grass healthy, many of the weeds will disappear on their own. If your soil and lawn are in really poor shape, it may take a few years to transform it, but you should see improvement each season.

Step 1: Yearly Lawn Makeover

Once a year – in the fall for cool-season grasses and spring for warm-season grasses – spend a weekend working on your lawn. When your lawn is healthy, you can back off to once every 3 or more years. Tasks include:

Step 2: Regular Lawn Maintenance

Throughout the year, take steps to care for your lawn according to the season and grass type. Proper watering, fertilizing, and mowing will go a long way toward strengthening your lawn.

Check out our spring, summer, and fall lawn care guides for more information on encouraging healthy grass.

Step 3: Target Weeds

Once you have a nice stand of grass, you may still have problems with occasional persistent weeds. To find out how to eliminate weeds, check out How To Control Weeds In Your Lawn for more information about organic and chemical solutions to weeds in an otherwise healthy lawn.

Further Information

Visit our Lawn Care section for a wealth of articles and information about growing different types of lawns.



  1. So I have kentucky blue grass and over the last 5 years what I thought was crab grass I think is fescue grass, and I have some strands of it and I have big clumps of it. So I started at the suggestion of Scotts lawn service spraying the clumps which has made my lawn incredibly ugly but it seems to be all through my lawn so I am going to have someone take out the lawn. But do I need to spray my whole lawn with round up if I am going to have them dig it out and start over? And how do I try and prevent this grass from getting into my new grass? One of my neighbors does nothing for weeds or never uses fertilizer and her whole front lawn is this fescue grass but she still waters it and I don’t want it back in my lawn. Any suggestions?


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