Whether they are invading your garden or trespassing in your lawn, weeds have always been a big pain in the neck for homeowners and gardeners alike. They seem to come from nowhere and can grow much quicker than our grass or garden plants. You could literally spend hours pulling weeds, but who has the time to do that? There are some effective tips that you can do that can actually prevent weeds from popping up. With our weed prevention tips, you’ll be able to get ahead of the weeds before they get out of control.
For most of us, weed control consists of hours of back-breaking weed-pulling but there is an easier way; pre-emergent herbicides. Pre-emergent herbicides do exactly what they say, kill weeds before they emerge from their seeds. This should be your first step in weed prevention. The trick is to know when to apply pre-emergent. Applications must be applied early in the spring before the soil warms up and weeds have a chance to germinate. The herbicide coats the seed and prevents it from sprouting. Pre-emergent herbicides can be applied on the lawn or in the garden around already established plants for a season-long weed barrier.
Don’t Disturb the Soil
Assume that every square inch of your yard is blanketed in a variety of weed seeds over the years. Only the seeds in the top inch or so of soil will have the chance to receive enough sunlight to germinate. Weeds need plenty of sunlight and warm soil to germinate. When they are buried under soil or mulch they cannot germinate, but when the soil is disturbed, like if you are digging up weeds, then the seeds under the soil will quickly take over. The trick is to cause as little disturbance as possible to the soil and if you do quickly cover it with mulch or potting soil so as to prevent weeds and crabgrass from taking over.
Water Your Plants, Not the Weeds
Weeds are hardy plants, but they are plants, and plants need water to survive. It’s tempting to put a sprinkler in your garden and turn it on once a day to let it do the work of watering your plants. Unless you’ve prepared your garden or lawn by laying pre-emergent herbicides beforehand, you’ll also be watering the weeds and, possibly, making more work for yourself in the end.
It may sound archaic, but watering your garden with a good old fashioned watering can, the way grandma used to, may be the best option. Watering cans allow you to only water the plants you want while leaving the weeds out to dry. This method works exceptionally well during periods of drought when weeds will use up their reserves of water and shrivel up. It might be a lot more work and require several trips to the faucet or rain barrel but did your grandma ever have any weeds in her garden?
Another, more modern approach that works just as well is setting up a drip hose. A drip hose efficiently irrigates plants while letting the weeds dry out in the hot sun. Weeds may still grow around the plant in the watering zone but these will be easier to manage than the entire garden.
Keep Your Grass Healthy
The best weed prevention technique you can use is to keep your lawn healthy. If you follow a strict watering and fertilization schedule then you may be doing more than you think to control weeds. As stated above, weeds need lots of sunlight and warm soil to germinate. Deny them this and they will remain dormant beneath the grass. Healthy lawns are thick, lush, and not mowed too short. If done correctly, your grass will effectively block out all sunlight from reaching the soil and prevent weeds, like crabgrass, from germinating.
Partner With Ashton Waldon
Effective weed prevention starts with a healthy lawn. At Ashton Waldon we have been providing the people of the great state of Texas with top-notch lawn care services since 1997. With our lawn care program, you will receive quality treatments year-round that will see your lawn turn into a lush, thick, weed-free lawn.