This article contains important corrections to homeowner misconceptions about not-so-popular … WEEDS. There are endless types of weeds just blowin’ in the wind waiting for a chance to root somewhere. They have no guilt about planting themselves right in your newly planted landscaping beds or in your beautifully sodded yard. There is a 100% chance that you will have these uninvited guests so come up with a plan to combat them.
In landscaping beds, your first line of defense would be to stop the weeds before they start. A pre-emergent is a chemical that prevents the weed seeds from germinating and comes in spray or granular form. One popular granular product for landscaping beds is Preen. Sprinkle landscaping areas as directed on package label after mulching and water in or lighting rake areas. It will not kill weeds that have already germinated. Applications should be at the beginning of the growing season, usually in mid to late March for our zone, and then again in early summer to help reduce summer annuals. Read the labels of any pre-emergent carefully for proper application and handling instructions.
Another helpful tip is to top your landscape with decorative gravel or rubber mulch instead of hardwood mulch. Weed seed has a harder time germinating in these types of materials. Weed barrier would be a second line of defense, although it aids in the prevention only by choking out weeds in existing soil, it will not stop weed seed from blowing into the area. A secondary reason for installing some type of weed barrier between the soil and gravel is to prevent soil and rock from mixing over time. If the ‘bad guys’ do pop up, there are several types of popular weed killers at your local hardware store. Most are contact sprays, meaning they will kill whatever weed, plant, or grass they come in ‘contact’ with. So be careful not to spray the ‘good guys’. Weeds can also be pulled but if you don’t get the whole root they will come back with a vengeance.
Weeds in your lawn are a cumbersome battle and they will keep coming back every year in different places. You will not win the war on weeds and have the best lawn in the subdivision unless you stick to your guns and follow a plan including an annual weed and feed program. There are lots of spraying companies that will put your yard on the proper ‘diet’ of weed and feed. Some homeowners lose the war on weeds so they just throw in the towel and resod the entire yard, right? Well…it is a step in the right direction; however, the germination process starts all over again unless you take yearly steps to prevent it. Weed seed has no conscience about germinating in your newly sodded yard. So please take a stand against weeds and make a valiant effort to prevent them in your yard or landscaping bed with an annual regimen of weed and feed. You will be glad you took the time!