19 Jul Lawn Weeds
The nemesis of gardeners everywhere, weeds are persistent little pest plants. As with any great battle, the best way to defeat your enemy is to understand how it works. Here we’ve assembled everything you need to know about those pesky weeds and how to end their reign of terror.
What are weeds anyway?
To put it simply, a weed is any wild plant that grows where it’s unwanted. These are invasive guests that compete with your grass and gardens, sucking up nutrients and making an eyesore of your landscaping. They typically reproduce fast, shooting seeds out in all directions. In fact, some varieties of wild weeds can produce over 30,000 seeds in a single season! Now you know why it’s so difficult to get them under control.
Is it possible to control weeds?
Yes, but don’t think you can absolutely get rid of them all. With so many varieties of weed constantly reproducing it’s unrealistic to expect total eradication. The good news is, with the right techniques, you can minimize the spread and try to contain growth.
How do I prevent weeds?
If at all possible, start your weed control efforts before planting anything else. Pull up any weeds you see in the area or try an herbicide. It’s best to apply herbicide before planting because they are often damaging to all plants, including the ones you actually want to keep.
It’s impossible to get rid of seeds, as we said before, but you can inhibit their ability to sprout. To keep seeds from growing, install landscaping fabric after planting and then cover it with a mulch of your choosing. This combination will effectively smother the seeds. Be mindful of your garden plants; some new plants don’t respond well to certain mulches.
If you do see weeds sprouting, pull them before they go to flower. Flowering weeds are ready to spread their seeds, so pull them out as soon as possible. For stubborn weeds that are too thick or big to pull all at once, stem their ability to reproduce by cutting off their heads. Take care of stubborn weeds if feasible, either by digging them out or using an herbicide.
Next, mind where you water. Make sure your irrigation plans keep water away from areas that weeds are known to sprout. It may seem like common sense, but a lot of gardeners forget about this crucial step and end up feeding their weeds by accident!
Do I have to use chemicals to control weeds?
Chemical herbicides are specially designed to take care of trouble plants, but there is an undeniable risk with handling them. Many of the methods we’ve given are effective without the use of herbicides. Some sources do report success controlling weeds with natural chemical-free methods too. These include pouring boiling water on weeds or spraying them with a mixture of vinegar. For those who want the benefit of an herbicide without having to spray or handle chemicals, it may be beneficial to look up these methods online!