How To Kill Chickweed In Your Garden

Also commonly known as lawn weed, chickweed is an annual plant that grows in abundance in the North American region in the fall. It is often distinguished by its green, matted surface and its small, white flowers.

While not entirely unattractive, chickweed is nevertheless a weed that prohibits the growth of other flowers and plants and therefore is necessary to get rid of it. If not done, then it can spread plant diseases and also insects that can get into the house, both of which are not very pleasant to think about.​

That being said, many people might be wondering just how to kill chickweed? We have the answer: in this article, we will give you the necessary items and steps to combat those annoying weeds and in the end will help you maintain your beautiful, coveted garden. Without further ado, let us get started!

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​What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

​Whether you choose to eradicate chickweed either chemically or organically, here are the main components you will need to do so:

#1. ​Herbicide

​Organic or not, this item is probably the most crucial part when it comes to killing off chickweed in your garden. It contains a special mixture of chemicals (natural or synthetic) in a specific ratio that can get rid of those pesky weeds over time.

Many of these herbicides attack the weed’s roots, which can prove effective but unfortunately can also end up killing other plants’ roots around it, so it is important to be careful and use herbicides sparingly.

#2. An Aerator

In order to effectively get rid of chickweeds, making sure that the lawn is dry is the way to go; moisture will only complicate things, for it will allow chickweed seeds to germinate easily and thereby make it more difficult to target and eliminate.

Therefore, an aerator comes in handy to dry out the lawn, in order to make it more manageable to aim at and destroy for the sake of the flowers and plants. By following the instructions in the manual, you should be able to use the aerator in an effective manner.​

#3. ​A Shovel

shovel

​On the other hand, if you do not have an aerator, then simply a shovel will do to aerate the soil in preparation for the weed-killing activity. To do so, you create holes in the soil to let out the moisture in a narrow, trench-like fashion, and from there you will have a dry lawn ready for the next step.

​#4. Fertilizer

​Even though you are killing off chickweeds instead of cultivating them, it is still important to have fertilizer on-hand after eradicating them, in order to ensure that your plants and flowers do not die and that they can continue to grow even after the weed-killing process.

​Just like with the herbicide, you may choose to use either organic or synthetic fertilizer to keep your plants and flowers growing; it can be as simple as the old one that you have been using for a while or even a brand name to experiment with (and perhaps also might be resistant to chickweeds!).

​#5. Water

​Like with any living species out there, having water is essential to being alive. After destroying the weeds and adding the fertilizer, the most important step to this process is to add water to activate the growth (or regrowth) of the plants at hand. Make sure that you have plenty for every single flower and plant out there in your lawn!

​#6. Vinegar

​While optional, having an acidic element like vinegar can help to target isolated cases of chickweed; you can spray it on certain areas of the lawn without having to plant herbicide throughout the entire plot of land.

​Step-by-step Instructions

1

Aerate (or dry) The Soil On Your Lawn

This step is to ensure a proper, working environment for getting rid of the chickweed. It is very important that you do not forgo this step, for working with damp, moist soil will make it harder to detect and remove any extra seeds or stems from the chickweed, which will then cause them to spread and germinate in other parts of the garden.

If you are choosing to use the aerator, start by plugging the machine into an outlet (or, if you have a cordless version, simply turn it on). The machine will produce holes in the soil to give air and otherwise dry it out in an efficient manner. On the other hand, if you do not have an aerator, then a shovel will do; simply make holes every square foot of the soil and deep enough that the air hidden deep inside the soil can come out.

2

Pull Out The Chickweed

Using your hands, remove the chickweed from the soil, which should not too difficult to do if there is only a small quantity of them. When disposing them, do not just throw it off to the side of the lawn, for its seeds and stems can actually germinate in other areas. Instead, place them carefully in a bag before throwing it out afterwards.

3

Add Both The Fertilizer And HerbicideTo The Lawn

Even if you have successfully cleared all of the visible chickweed in your garden, it is highly likely that there still remains some seeds and stems which have not sprouted yet underneath the soil.

That being said, it is necessary to add herbicide or some weed killers to the lawn to kill off any leftover chickweed, as well as prevent any more from spreading throughout the garden.

​​At the same time, you will need to add fertilizer in as well, for adding only herbicide, while beneficial for destroying the weeds, can also harm the plants and flowers grown there.

To counteract this, putting fertilizer along with the herbicide will help them continue to grow and prosper, while also inhibiting further weeds from coming in and ruining your beautiful garden.

4

Water The Soil

water-the-soil

After some time, you are free to water the soil; doing so will not only keep up your plants’ growth, but also kill off any leftover seeds and stems as the herbicide seeps into the soil. In this case, water is important for sustaining and killing off particular aspects of life, in plants and weeds, respectively.

5

Use Vinegar (optional)

Once more this step is completely optional, but can serve as useful if you detect small, individual cases of chickweed on your lawn. Simply spraying this otherwise acidic item is a great quick-fix for destroying chickweed, although it might not be the best for larger, more serious cases of it.

​For some weed-killing vinegar recipes, check out this article.

Conclusion

All in all, chickweeds can be the bane of the gardener’s existence, especially when it comes to growing beautiful flowers and plants. However, it is not difficult at all to get rid of them: by having a few important items (e.g. herbicide, fertilizer, dry soil), you can be sure to blast those annoying weeds out of your garden!

Enjoyed this tutorial? Feel free to share and comment.

Happy gardening!

Shary Saunders
 

Shary Saunders is the founder and chief editor of sharycherry.com. Gardening and landscaping have been her passion for years. You can find Shary on Twitter at @SharySaunders. Read more about Shary here.

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