One of the difficulties of maintaining a healthy and attractive lawn is keeping weeds at bay.
Mowing weeds regularly is a quick and easy way to keep lawn weeds under control. So in this article, we take a look at how to successfully control weeds by mowing, the results you can expect, and how to combine it with other methods for weeds that can’t be controlled by mowing alone.
Can You Mow Weeds?
You can mow weeds while they are still small. Regular mowing of annual weeds can prevent their spread by stopping them from flowering and producing seeds. But some species of weeds can adapt to your mowing height and continue to flower. And perennial weeds — that grow back each year from established roots systems — will often continue to spread through runners and rhizomes.
Does Mowing Weeds Kill Them?
You can kill many types of weeds with repeated mowing. By cutting the top of the plant regularly, you can limit its ability to photosynthesize. Although the weed may continue to grow, the root system will eventually become exhausted, and the plant will die.
Mowing For Weed Control
To control weeds and prevent them from spreading across your lawn, it’s a good idea to mow them when you first notice them growing before they have a chance to flower. Once weeds flower and spread seeds, you can look forward to more weeds appearing in the next growing season.
Set a regular mowing schedule so that you mow your grass each week, cutting down any weeds that sprout.
Set your lawn mower blades to the correct height for your grass type. This helps to keep your lawn thick and healthy. The grass will stop weed seeds from reaching the soil and crowd out new seedlings, preventing them from receiving adequate sunlight.
Don’t mow your grass too short. Your lawn will suffer, and weeds will have a better chance of becoming established while your grass recovers. Also, don’t remove more than ⅓ of the grass height at a time when you mow. Removing too much can shock your lawn, reduce the water retention of the grass, and make it more vulnerable to diseases and pests.
Here are the recommended heights for some common grass types:
- St Augustine grass: 3 to 3 ½” tall
- Bermuda grass: 3 to 3 ½” tall
- Buffalo grass: 2 to 3” tall
- Tiff grass: 1” tall
- Zoysia grass: 1 ½ to 2 ¼” tall
Can You Mow Over Dead Weeds?
Yes, you can mow over dead weeds when you mow your lawn. Mowing will tidy up the appearance of the weeds. And the leftover part of the weeds will decompose and release their nutrients back into the soil, helping your grass grow.
Should I Spray Weeds Before Or After Mowing?
It’s a good idea to spray weeds before you mow. Mowing reduces the surface area available to absorb herbicide by cutting away foliage (broadleaf weeds) and grass blades (grassy weeds). After spraying the weeds, wait at least two days before mowing so the herbicide can translocate to the roots.
Can I just mow over dandelions?
You can mow over dandelions to cut them down to the same height as your grass. And with regular mowing, you can prevent flowerheads from turning into distinctive fluffy seed heads and spreading around your yard. But dandelions will often grow back again if you leave their large central taproot in the ground.
Should I mow before applying crabgrass preventer?
It’s okay to mow before applying crabgrass preventer if you want to tidy your lawn up, but mowing is not necessary. The most important thing is to get the crabgrass preventer into the soil at the right time. For summer-annual weeds such as crabgrass, this means waiting until soil temperature first rises to 55℉ for 2-3 days in the spring before applying a pre-emergent herbicide.
Should I remove weeds before mowing?
You don’t have to remove weeds before mowing, but many weeds will continue to grow after you mow your lawn. Digging or pulling weeds from the ground is one of the best ways of getting rid of weeds because you can also remove the roots, preventing the weeds from regrowing. But perennial weeds with extensive root systems can be difficult to completely remove.