If weeds have completely taken over your lawn, and it is no longer realistic to hand-pull them all, you might look to re-establishing your lawn. Starting fresh might seem intimidating, but you can always re-establish small sections at a time, over a couple of years.
To get rid of your existing, weed-laden turf, use one of the following methods:
Option 1 - Solarization
This is the process of covering your lawn with a thick sheet of black plastic. The sun will heat up and kill the grass and weed seeds. Once the plastic has killed the plant life underneath it (approx. 4-6 weeks, depending how much direct sun the area is exposed to), rake up and dispose of all the dead weeds and grass. You are now ready to replant in that soil.
Option 2 - Smothering
This is the process of covering your lawn with 10 sheets of newspaper or 30 cm of leaves, and covering that with a layer of topsoil. Once the leaves (or newspaper) have broken down, (which can take up to a full growing season), you are ready to replant in the new topsoil that has formed from this decomposition.
Option 3 - Starvation
This is the process of “shaving” (mowing really close) your lawn, and tilling the area. Wait and see if any grass and weeds come through, then till again. Replant once no new growth appears to be breaking through in the newly tilled soil. The tilling process could have to be performed several times, and take a few weeks to complete.