From creeping weed grasses to unwanted flowers, weeds are the bane of every gardener's existence. Unattractive, irritating, and usually vigorous growers, weeds have a way of infiltrating even the healthiest of gardens, popping up through your grass, flower beds, and even your patio. Some might say controlling weeds is right up there with controlling pests and fungus. Luckily, you can wave goodbye to weeds with our helpful weed control tips:
Before turning to chemical solutions, it's wise to try ridding your lawn of weeds organically, first. Commercial herbicides introduce risky chemicals to your garden, which may effectively kill off weeds, but could also damage your lawn and garden. While they might be useful as a last resort, it's best for everyone to keep your landscape chemical-free, especially if you have kids or pets running around the backyard all day. Here's how you can prevent and control weeds organically:
While keeping your grass lush and green won't necessarily target weeds per se, harmful weeds won't be able to do as much damage on a healthy lawn. A yellow, dry lawn- now that's another story. Rejuvenate your grass and encourage new growth each spring by dethatching and aerating your landscape.
First, clear out any old, dead growth by dethatching your lawn. Drag a thatching rake across your lawn in early spring to loosen and rip the thatch that weaves itself into your good grass. Otherwise, this tangled layer of dead material will smother your lawn and prevent new grass from sprouting.
After dethatching, you should also aerate your lawn to minimize soil compaction, so air, water and nutrients can easily pass through the soil to the roots. You can do this by perforating the soil with small holes, with spike aerators, which are used to poke holes in the ground, or plug aerators, which removes main plugs of grass and soil.
Whether you're planting a new lawn, or just trying to fill in an old one, it's super important to use good lawn seed. Poor seed, or seed that isn't quite right for your region, climate, and landscape needs, is more likely to allow weeds to sprout up with your new grass. Even seeds with just 1% weed seed content might lead to a considerable weed problem for your lawn. Look for seed mixes that are completely weed-free, or as high of a percentage as possible.
Temperatures can get pretty hot here in Bismarck at the peak of summer, so it's no wonder you're used to watering your lawn regularly to keep it from drying out. However, like your favorite annuals and perennials, your lawn develops better roots if it's watered deeply, but less frequently. Allow Mother Nature to do her job, watering thoroughly only in extended dry periods, and your lawn will be much tougher for it. Deeper, healthier roots leave less space for nasty weeds to settle in.
No, we're not suggesting you cover all of your gorgeous green grass with mulch- what would be the point of that? While mulching doesn't quite apply to your lawn, mulching your other plants can certainly help. Organic mulch, such as wood chips, bark shreds, and compost, work to suppress weeds around your favorite shrubs and trees, and in your flower beds. Remember, weeds spread super easily, so the fewer there are in your garden, the less there are to infiltrate your lawn, too!
Prevention is the primary protection for your lawn from weeds, but it'll likely never be 100% effective- even the healthiest lawns are sure to sprout a few. When all else fails, just yank them out by hand with the help of a trowel and some good gardening gloves. Make sure you get the whole weed, roots and all, or your efforts will be for naught. Trust us, when you're finished and your lawn is as beautiful and uncompromised as ever, the extra effort will feel totally worth it.
If your lawn is already overtaken by weeds are you're on the verge of a full-blown epidemic, it might be a little too late to start tackling it on your own. Selecting the right product is crucial if you want to kill weeds, but not your grass.
Before purchasing herbicide, you need to know what it is you're dealing with. Is it just a few harmless dandelions? Or is it a more vigorous kind, like creeping Charlie or crabgrass? Identifying the problem will help you select the appropriate product- one that targets that specific weed, making your efforts much more effective.
If you can, target weeds directly by spot spraying individual weeds or small areas with weeds, instead of your whole lawn. This will cut back on the amount of chemical solution coating your garden plants, and will have less of a negative effect on your lawn. Be careful not to spray near your veggie garden- you wouldn't want to be serving up tainted food at your next family dinner!
The best way to tackle weeds is to prevent them from sprouting in the first place, before the growing season even begins. When you're consistent with weed prevention measures, you'll find lawn weed control becomes much easier. Stop into Plant Perfect for your garden care and weed-killing needs today!