Horrendous Backyard Weed Attack


Hi there,
My husband destroyed our yard.. he laid dirt over our grass from a walkway he had dug up to lay interlock. He thought it would act as “topsoil” and he could add seed and make it thicker. Well, what actually happened was a massive weed takeover of our entire lawn.
Please help! What do we do? He wants to use round up to destroy it all and start fresh. I don’t want the stuff near our yard. What are our alternatives? It’s a small yard in north Cambridge and our soil is clay I think. The yard is sunny and north- facing.
Thanks very much!


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

Having weeds in your lawn can be very frustrating. What probably happened in your situation is that weed seeds that lay dormant in the soil were transferred to the lawn and then germinated. Anytime you dig you are unearthing dormant weed seeds.

From your picture I can not tell how many or which weeds you are dealing with. Some weeds are annuals and some are perennials. Both will require different treatments. Round up (glyphosate) is not permitted for use on lawns for cosmetic purposes. https://www.ontario.ca/page/pesticides-home-lawns-and-gardens. 

If you can collect up some samples of the weeds you are dealing with and bring them to your local nursery they should be able to let you know what herbicides are available that will be effective against the weeds you are dealing with. It is important to follow the package directions carefully for best results.

The best way to avoid weeds in your garden is to crowd them out with healthy grass. Your husband was on the right path when he planned on overseeding the lawn. Again a local nursery will be more familiar with your area and can recommend the best seed for you to use.

There are many articles in the Toronto Master Gardener Library that talk about lawn weeds and ways to deal with them. I have included several links to the library below. Each of these articles have further links for you to follow.

Good Luck.

Nothing but Weeds


Nothing but Weeds

Reseed or use sod?