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I live in Ontario Canada.

So most of the powerful weed killers are not allowed here.

I used Roundup and Weeb Begon but neither of them are good enough.

My backyard is now full of weeds of all types including clover and dandelions and other stuff.

I recently tried Vinegar and Salt, which works well on weeds but kills grass too.

Are there a better solution than vinegar?

My backyard is around 8000 sqr ft.

Here are some photos

Weed

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More weed

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Crab grass

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More Crab grass

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Clovers

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More Clovers

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Dead grass from Vinegar usage

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  • Are the surrounding properties also full of weeds? Could you post some photos. Jul 24, 2023 at 20:04
  • @RohitGupta yes my neighbours from both sides are careless.. I will take photos today and update this post
    – asmgx
    Jul 24, 2023 at 20:23
  • @RohitGupta updated the post with photos
    – asmgx
    Jul 25, 2023 at 1:23
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    The OP wants something stronger than Roundup (glyphosate). Does such a thing exist? In my experience, glyphosate kills pretty much everything (including grass, so it’s no use on lawn weeds).
    – bubba
    Jul 25, 2023 at 13:04

3 Answers 3

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There are just to many weeds for a sensible spraying operation. Roundup is pretty good. You just have to keep using Roundup say fortnightly until you win. It will take a while and you will have a very patchy lawn. You absolutely have to spray before the weeds go to seed. Also be aware that some seeds can last in the soil for decades.

Otherwise spray the whole area with roundup, and reseed the lawn. My suggestion for reseeding would be to use a farm mix (rye and clover). It grows fast, but would require mowing more often. Or just give up and live with crab grass.

If you are looking for more organic methods. I have used a gas burner weed killer gadget. But I gave up as it was a very slow process.

You can also use boiling water, I am not sure if a residential gadget exists for this.

There are selective chemicals such as 2,4-D 720 AMINE - Broadleaf weed control but they may not be available there. In NZ, more dangerous chemicals are allowed to be sprayed by licensed operators. So, Google for such operators, they may be able to help.

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With the greatest respect, the easiest solution is to realise that there is no logical reason why domestic lawns have to be weed free. It's different if you're a professional groundsperson. In that case you need to eradicate lawn weeds as they can interfere with the play of the ball. That requirement doesn't apply to domestic gardeners. You can chose, for cosmetic reasons, to have a weed-free lawn, but if you do so you are setting yourself up for a huge amount of work, plus you'll be using potentially environmentally unfriendly chemicals. Relabel those "weeds" as wild flowers and, hey presto, the problem is solved.

Roundup is not a selective weedkiller. Spray it on a lawn and it will kill everything, grass and weeds. Save the salt and vinegar for your fish and chips. They (salt and vinegar, not fish and chips) are not effective weedkillers and you risk poisoning your soil if you use them.

The Royal Horticultural Society provide (UK based) advice on controlling lawn weeds here.

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  • I agree with reframing what is a 'weed', though I don't think it's quite fair to say wanting a monoculture lawn is illogical when we don't know the logic that lead the poster there. We may just have different sensibilities.
    – MackM
    Jul 25, 2023 at 16:47
  • @MackM - I did think it worth stressing that there are sound practical reasons why professionals need a weed-free turf and that those reasons do not apply to domestic lawns. The Government of Ontario obviously agrees with those sentiments. Their website states they have banned various common herbicides (including, questionably in my opinion, glyphosate) "for cosmetic purposes because they may pose an unnecessary risk to human health, particularly children’s health."
    – Peter4075
    Jul 25, 2023 at 17:43
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I only know one method that removes all of the plants you don't want and none of the plants you do want- mechanical control. Physically remove or damage the unwanted plant until it dies.

That can mean destroying the above ground portion of the plant by cutting or tearing it off, and doing that again and again until the plant is exhausted and dies.

That can also mean pulling the weed out. This is easier after a rain and there are tools that can help you. If you get the entire root the plant will not grow back, and if you leave part behind what grows back will be weaker because of what you took last time.

Either of these methods will require several passes, with the first pass taking much more time than the others. The more frequently you pass over the area the easier each pass will be as well, and it's important to get the plant out of the ground before it sets seeds and starts a new generation. I personally find it relaxing as well.

As a final aside, I want to echo another answer that you may want to consider accepting some of those plants as part of the lawn. Especially clover is very popular in lawns because can outcompete many weeds and improves the soil while it grows, is hardy enough to stay green in dry conditions, and most importantly it is good luck.

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