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Will I damage my lawn by manually pulling up weeds?

Will I damage my lawn by manually pulling up weeds?


Old 06-05-17, 05:35 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2016
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Will I damage my lawn by manually pulling up weeds?

Hello! My front lawn (especially) was in some dire need of some TLC. It has quite a few dandelions, ragweed and plantain in a lot of places. Also, it has a little clover here and there, but I like that!

Anyways, I seeded a couple little spots after tilling and adding new topsoil and then I got to attacking the rest of the lawn the old fashioned way - sitting down ON MY BUTT with a little dandelion weeder.

I got to work the other 2 days pulling up quite a few weeds and have been having a blast - seriously! Mostly I've been getting rid of a lot of plantain (broadleaf) weeds and a few dandelions. Oh yeah, also some Mullien (I think that's what they're called).

So, I'm trying my best to just work a tiny hole to pull out the weed and then trying to put as much of the dirt back into the little hole without getting the roots back in.

Will all these little bare (maybe 2 inches across) spots/holes, effect the lawn or will they (hopefully) fill back in with grass?

I figure that by getting rid of all or most of the weeds I may give my lawn a better chance to repair itself and outgrow the weeds. Am I dreaming? lol

Well, it's fun anyways!
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Old 06-05-17, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
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To answer the question in the title, no, you will not damage the lawn by pulling weeds. My mother utterly detested weeds and would spend hours in the yard with a paring knife digging them out. I asked why, because they ARE green and she would just glare at me. Mind you, other than digging weeds she had no interest whatsoever in any kind of outdoor gardening.

Yes, the "divots left when removing the weed root will fill in and leave no evidence. Truth is, unless you have an abbreviated growing season (or you summer is so hot the grass goes dormant) you will likely not be able to find the divot in as little as a week after the weed removal, at least that is the case in my area. And yes, a strong healthy lawn is a very good defense against weeds. Good healthy turf will simply crowd out the vast majority of weeds. Unfortunately, good healthy turf is labor intensive AND requires lots of irrigation. If you experience any kind of water rationing, even if only by a high cost, you might be far better off in going smaller on the grass and increasing other vegetation that is more drought tolerant.

Remember also that a "weed" is nothing more than another plant, albeit unwanted it its particular location.

My former wife's university faculty advisor actually cultivated dandelions, she made wine from them. It was pretty good wine, too.

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