July 17 2012

Controlling Weeds

You love your lawn and garden, but you hate those pesky weeds! They pop up all over the place and are quick to grow. How can you get rid of them? Here we share some tips and information about preventing and removing weeds.

You can always hand pull or dig weeds out but you have to be sure you get the root because many of them can regrow from even a small piece of root left in the ground. Get yourself a good hand trowel. If you have weeds that are growing up through cracks on your sidewalk or patio, did you know that you can pour boiling water or salt water on them to kill them?

Of course you can also use herbicides.  Your landscaping professional can recommend a product depending on the type of weeds that you have. They can also recommend various types of mulch for weed prevention. Mulching shades the soil so seeds have a harder time germinating. Compost and organic mulches will raise the pH of the soil and make it less ideal for weed growth.

Remember that weeds need water, too. When watering your plants try not to water the area around them because you are watering the weeds.

Let’s go back to the subject of herbicides. Knowing when and how to apply them is important. For example, crabgrass can be controlled if you apply herbicide before germination. The same goes for chickweed and other winter annuals that germinate in early fall. On the other hand, Bermuda grass requires directly spraying herbicide onto it in order to kill the existing plant. Some herbicides kill weeds after they have sprouted. These are called post-emergence herbicides and they kill weeds without harming your grass. There are several brands and types. Your lawn and garden store or landscaper can provide these.

You can also put down sheets of plastic or cloth underneath mulch or some type of pebbles or stone. But be sure whatever you put down is somewhat porous if you want the good plants to grow – they still need to be able to absorb water.

And here’s a crazy thought—why not keep some of the weeds? If you get to know your weed varieties by doing a little online research, you will learn that some of them actually have benefits. And some of them are appealing to look at. You can pull or kill certain weeds and let others grow, making less work for yourself.

Now, when it comes to vegetables, big leafy plants like squash, cucumbers and melons will shade the ground and less weeds will grow. Remember, weeds like sunlight. Scuffle hoes and onion hoes are tools that work well for weeding a vegetable garden.

However you decide to fight weeds, you’ll enjoy the benefits of keeping up with them. Because a healthy lawn that is weeded regularly will keep weeds from becoming a real problem.