Weed Maintenance Part Two

July 21, 2014

With summer comes an onslaught of weeds that can choke your garden and become frustrating. We have already shared some tips and tricks regarding weed care, but would like to review with you several more options. Some options are: try to crowd out the weeds with healthy lawn care, weeding manually, or using herbicides.

While crowding the weeds with healthy lawn care would be the easiest way, it doesn’t always work like that. Every bit of your yard contains weed seeds, but only the seeds in the top inch of dirt receive enough light for germination. Dig them out only when you need to. Since digging brings weed seeds to the surface, you could create a bigger issue. Immediately take care of the disturbed spot with plants or mulch. Minimize soil disturbances by using a sharp knife with a narrow blade to sever the roots of dandelions and other weeds. Try to sever the source rather than digging them out.

Next, consider using mulch to keep the soil cool and deprive the weeds of light. Organic mulch can also host insects that devour weed seeds. It’s important to replace the mulch as often as needed to keep it about two inches deep.

Furthermore, after a good rain, put on some gloves and start pulling weeds. Get to work as soon as you can after a rain because weeds will pull more easily from the soil. Use an old table fork or fishtail weeder to twist out weed tendrils. A screwdriver works well for pulling weeds between concrete cracks and seams. After a morning weeding session, let your weeds shrivel in the sun, then compost them.

If you can’t remove weeds for any reason, the next best thing is to take off their heads. You’ll need pruning loppers to take off the heads of ragweed and you can use a strong trimmer with a blade attachment to cut thistles or brambles down. The main thing to remember is to chop down weeds before they go to seed to keep them from spreading.

Don’t be intimidated. Spend about 10 minutes a day weeding. You don’t need to do it all at once. Spend a few minutes a day, every day, to prevent the weeds from having time to grow. Remember to remove weeds as you garden as well.

Finally, if you aren’t sure whether or not something is a weed, remember, if it sprouted by itself, chances are it’s a weed. Get down and dirty and pull it out of there to prevent spreading! Stay tuned for more tips about weeding.