How and when do I get rid of unwanted grass species and patches of weeds in my yard?

Fall is a great time to fix up your lawn and to tackle those patches of unwanted grass and weed species. Even the most well-tended lawns can be infiltrated by uninvited seeds, but in the fall, your work will have the greatest chance of success. Herbicides are most effective this time of year, and it’s a great time to plant many new types of grass.

The process is as simple as killing or removing the unwanted grass, smoothing the dirt, then replanting with the desirable grass – but what’s most important is your timing. Follow these tips to time your lawn spruce up correctly:

  • Allow Six-Weeks for Herbicide Sprays: If you’re using a spray herbicide such as Roundup or an organic vinegar-based spray, allow six weeks between spraying and replanting to give the spray time to work and to dissipate so it won’t kill the new grass seed. To plan ahead, simply decide when you want to plant your new seed, and count backward six weeks on the calendar to plan your spray date. Before replanting, rake away as much of the dead grass as you can, and smooth any lumps in the soil.
  • Hand Digging Grass Removal: If you’re digging up the unwanted grass without chemicals, you can replant the same day. Just dig up the unwanted sod, replace with rich topsoil, and replant with new grass. You can do this project any time grass can be planted in your area.
  • Fall Grass Planting: If you’re planting cool-season grasses in fall, you’ll need to spray in late summer in order to plant by October. If you’re like me and tend to forget until it’s too late in the season, just spray the unwanted grass anytime in the fall, and wait until spring to replant.
  • Spring Grass Planting: Warm-season grasses should be planted in the spring anyway. If you’re planning to re-seed with a warm-season grass next spring, you can spray an herbicide on unwanted grasses any time before the first fall frost. If you’re trying to green up your lawn with winter rye, you’ll need to spray six weeks before planting.


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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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