Weed Killer for Complete Rennovation of Lawn

Asked August 22, 2019, 6:34 AM EDT

Good morning, I read the documents and instructions by U of MD Etension for complete rennovation of lawn. Thank you all for making all this information available. I am a homeowner in Southern MD (St. Mary's County) and would like to fix the problems in my lawn. It is a 0.5 acre lawn (front and back), and especially the backyard is mostly weed. While i was collecting samples for soil test, in a dry day, the soil was so compact that I had to use a hammer to insert the small handheld shovel 3-4 inches into soil. It looks like soil is clay. While the pdf gives step by step instruction for how to perform complete rennovation, I was hoping you could give me additional information for selecting herbicide/weed killer products There is Lowe's nearby my house. But, I am also willing to drive lomg distance if I need a specialty product from local nursery. Attached are pictures for my lawn. Thank you for your help in advance.

St. Mary's County Maryland

8 Responses

The herbicide we recommend is glyphosate. (Page 7 in the renovation publication: https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/HGIC_Pubs/lawn_pubs/HG10...)

Glyphosate is an ingredient found in many products. We recommend that you use a product that does not have other active ingredients. It will say so on the front label. A known name brand may be better than an off-brand one.


With soil as hard and/or compacted as yours, it would highly benefit from core aeration and a top dressing of an organic product (compost), such as Leafgro. Be sure to run the aerator in several directions , not just back and forth once.

Clay soil is not bad, necessarily, but organic additions can make it much better topsoil.


Dear Ellen,
Thank you for your tips and advice. I was able to find a weed killer product at Lowe's with 52% glyphosate. All other products at my local Lowe's store contained much less percentage of glyphosate under Active Ingredients. I am hoping this product will work without much harm to environment as its Active Ingredients contained 48% Other Ingredients. We are looking forward to moving on to the next steps of our lawn rennovation. Thank you again,

You are welcome.

One more thing about clay soil. Because the particles are so tiny, they pack together closely. Be careful not to run a mower over the lawn when the soil is wet, as that compacts it severely.


Thank you Ellen,
Does that also mean I should rototill ny lawn when it is dry and avoid doing so when it is wet?

Never rototill wet soil.

If you are dong a complete lawn renovation--especially if you are adding organic soil amendments, lime and fertilizers called for in a soil test--then tilling can be a good way to get these into the soil.


Thank you Ellen