Is It Better To Pull Weeds Or Mow Them? (Solved!)

Weeds are inevitable, and they can turn your beautiful lawn or garden into a rogue jungle in no time. Whether you are an avid gardener, or simply a homeowner with the desire for a well-manicured lawn, you will of course want to know what is the best and most efficient way to get rid of those pesky weeds. So, is it better to pull weeds or mow them?

Experts are very clear: it is absolutely better to pull weeds instead of mowing them. Weeds can easily regrow if the root remains in the soil, so to effectively rid your lawn or garden of unwanted weeds, you need to remove the entire plant, root included, by hand or with a garden tool. 

There are several recommended tactics for how to remove weeds and keep them out of your space. If you want a gorgeous, weed-free lawn or garden, you need to know how weeds can harm your lawn or garden, how to pull them out effectively, and what to do if that doesn’t work and you need a more serious solution, this article has it all!

Why Should You Remove Weeds?

Weeds are not just displeasing aesthetically, they can also be detrimental to the health of your lawn or garden. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Weeds can steal nutrients, space, light, and water that your other purposefully planted plants could otherwise use to grow bigger and stronger. 
  • Some weeds are dangerous and contain toxic chemicals that could harm your flora or even your animals or children.

So even if you don’t mind the look of all those weeds, and although weeding may seem like a tedious task, it truly does benefit your other plants and your family!

How To Efficiently Pull Weeds By Hand

Now you know that pulling weeds, instead of mowing them, is without a doubt, the most effective way to remove weeds, you may just want to know how to go about getting rid of them for good.

  • When removing weeds, make sure to pull out the entire root. If you don’t, the weed will simply grow back.
  • Pull them before they bloom. If you can catch the weeds early, their root systems will be less developed and therefore easier to take out completely. 
  • If you water the infected area first, the roots will be easier to remove. 
  • Do not leave removed weeds in a pile on the soil. If they have bloomed, they will release their seeds once pulled and new weeds will grow right back up. 
  • If the roots are deeply embedded, you should use a small spade or knife to ensure you have got the whole plant.  

Mowing your weeds will not remove the roots, and although it is possible that they will die after several mows, it’s not very likely, and it isn’t an efficient solution. 

Natural Remedies If Weeds Return After Pulling

Weeds are stubborn, and even if you follow all the instructions above and properly remove every last bit of root with each weed, there is a chance they will continue to infect your lawn or garden. So what can you do if weeding by hand is not doing the trick? 

There is a lot of information circulating the internet about homemade weed killers and natural options that remove the need for herbicide. Some natural options include:

  • Cover the weed-filled area with boiling water. 
  • Apply a homemade saltwater spray to the weeds themselves, not to soak the soil, as it can soak in and affect the other plants.
  • Use a white vinegar or vinegar and salt mixture on the leaves. 
  • Borax can be a successful weed killer, even though it is sold as a laundry detergent. Use caution with this option as it can be toxic to the skin.  

All of these tactics can work extremely well, but be careful as they will also almost certainly kill any surrounding plants.

What Herbicides to Use If Your Weeds Just Won’t Stay Gone

Pulling weeds is still the most highly recommended way to rid your space of these unwanted guests. 

Experts have mixed reviews when it comes to the natural weed removals mentioned above. Although there’s no real harm in giving them a try, if they just don’t seem to be working, herbicides are a tried and true way to completely remove weeds from your lawn or garden for at least a whole summer season. 

Luckily for all you gardeners and lawn aficionados, you are not alone, and there are millions of people who have weighed in online to report the best herbicides on the market. Here are just a few fan favorites:

  • Spectricide Weed and Grass Killer
  • Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer
  • Roundup Weed and Grass Killer III

If you need a few more options, or just want to research every possible herbicide brand to find the best fit for your home, you can read a comprehensive reviewed list right here

Remember that herbicides can be just as dangerous for your other plants as the natural weed killers, so they are really only to be used as a last resort after you have tried weeding by hand.

Final Thoughts

Bothersome and resilient weeds are really frustrating, we get it! 

But even though mowing over them may seem like the easiest option, it’s not truly getting rid of your weeds! Don’t be fooled when you look down at your lawn and don’t see any visible weeds, they are still there at the root level, just waiting for a little sun and water to sprout back up again. 

The most efficient way across the board to rid your life of weeds is to pull them from the root. 

If pulling doesn’t work for your space, you should try natural and or chemical herbicides. Of course, there is not a 100% foolproof way to get and keep your garden and lawn weed-free, but this should certainly help get you started and hopefully allow for at least a successful summer without weeds!

META: Between pulling out or mowing your weeds, there is a very clear answer on what works best!