How to remove lawn weeds

How to remove lawn weeds

Perennial weeds can look unsightly on a lawn. We show you how to remove them.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is not at its best in May

Plant is at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is not at its best in September

Plant is not at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do To do in May

Do To do in June

Do To do in July

Do To do in August

Do To do in September

Do To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

A large, broad-leaved weed can look quite out of place in a lawn full of uniform, green turf. Plantains, dandelions, daisies and buttercups all have ‘rosette’ foliage, and one plant in the lawn can easily block the light to the grass, killing off a round patch below.

Removing lawn weeds as and when they appear is an effective way to deal with them. And filling in the hole that’s left behind with fresh compost and lawn seed makes for a quick, seamless fix.

How to remove lawn weeds: transcript

All gardens are set off beautifully by a verdant sward, a good lawn. They always say it’s a truth, universally acknowledged, that a good lawn makes the rest the garden look good, too. But when you get down on your hands and knees and really look at your sward, it’s not so much grass, it’s more of a botanic garden – all kinds of
plants growing in there. Now, perfectionists will worry – they only want grass in a lawn. I’ve got round to the way of thinking that if it looks green and striped from a few feet away, it really doesn’t matter; but if you do want to make sure that all these little weeds here go, there’s several things you can do.

The most obvious one is, in spring, to apply a combined weedkiller and fertiliser dressing which will feed the grass and kill out the weeds. Me, having seen blackbirds pulling worms out of a blackened lawn to feed their young, I decided a few years ago I just wasn’t going to do it again. So I need to find another way of controlling them. The tiny little leafy weeds like this, which survive by virtue of being able to crouch under the blades of
the mower, I’m afraid I agree to leave. But the ones that really do offend me are these, the rosette-forming weeds that sit low. Look, isn’t that crafty? Right under the blades of the mower – it never gets down there. These are thistles, over there, dandelions; plantains are another bête noire. But if you’re an organic gardener and you don’t want to apply weedkiller, what do you do? Tolerate them? No fear.

You use a daisy grubber. Clumps of daisies, it will take you ages to pull out with one of these, but that’s what I do. This is a modern one. This is mine. It’s quite old. It’s made from cast iron. And what it does is pretty straightforward. This is the V here. If you push it down under the weed. Now the reason these survive, apart from being flat, is that they have a tap root. Look, prise it out – and you’ve got to get all that root out – there we are, one big tap root down the middle. Some other ones surrounding it. Having got that out, I can just flatten that back and the grass will take over that little bare patch. Another one here. I tell you, you can have hours of fun doing this on your lawn. There it comes. Look, completely out, push it back. I get the satisfaction of having all the big ones gone and the others… You know, gardening isn’t totally about control freakery. It’s about learning to live with nature and for me, this is the happy medium.

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You Will Need

  • Trowel or long blade
  • Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
  • Grass seed

Total time:

Step 1

Use the trowel or long blade to lever out deep-rooted weeds such as plantains or dandelions. Make sure you remove the whole plant, roots and all.

Removing plantain from a lawn
Removing plantain from a lawn

Step 2

Once the weed is removed, use compost to fill the hole it leaves behind. Push the compost down deeply into the hole, firming it level with the soil surface.

Filling in with compost
Filling in with compost

Step 3

Sprinkle fresh grass seed over the patch, then cover with extra compost before watering. Keep the area damp until the seed has germinated and is growing well.

Sowing grass seed
Sowing grass seed