It’s the time of the year when grass is usually the greenest – when spring showers are still providing ample water and before summer temperatures have turned our yards into a sea of dried up brown straw. Unfortunately, you may also be noticing something green besides just grass: WEEDS. Not only are weeds unfortunate to look at but they also threaten to choke out the healthy grass if left for an extended amount of time. To make sure that your yard still looks good and weed-free season after season, here are some tips:
Keep your grass healthy. Healthy and plentiful grass doesn’t breed weeds; instead weeds tend to grow in struggling areas where grass is sparse. Be sure to fertilize your grass with nitrogen fertilizer but do so when the grass is still green and growing well.
Cut your grass. When you cut your grass at the perfect height it provides shade for the ground – making it difficult for weeds to grow – while also ensuring it is at a height where it can thrive. Cutting grass too short can kill it, allowing weeds to grow, but waiting too long in between lawn mowings can give weeds too much time to grow as well.
Dig deep. Unfortunately weeds grow much deeper than you may realize and simply pulling the top of the weed out probably won’t kill the roots. To effectively kill the roots as well, use a weed trowel to get to the root of the plant: loosen up the weed and its root system with the trowel first before removing the entire thing.
Start early and do it often. Tackle weeds as they arrive instead of waiting for them to take over your yard. Weeds are perennials and will grow back year after year, so if you deal with them while they’re small you’ll have a better chance of controlling them early. As more weeds arrive throughout the season, deal with them right when you see them instead of procrastinating and risking them spreading quickly.
Use the right formulation. Make sure that you’re using the correct formulation of pre-emergent herbicide so that you’re not wasting money on weed control products that won’t attack the specific weeds in your yard. If you don’t know what kind of weed you’re dealing with, call in the professionals for treatment or dig up a sample and bring it in to a garden store where someone will be able to identify it for you.
Give up. It sounds a little counterintuitive, but there are some places that you just will not be able to grow grass and trying to keep weeds out will be fruitless. For those areas, carefully dig out the weeds and their roots as well as you can and then use a weed-control fabric to cover the area. You’ll then want to cover that area with rocks, gravel or mulch.
What have you found to be effective in killing weeds in your yard?