Any weeds that grow through mulch are easy to pull because the soil remains loose. Photo by Saxon Holt
Too little fertilizer can lead to sparse lawn that loses the competition with weeds. Too much helps nurture certain weeds, notably annual bluegrass, Bermuda grass and crabgrass. Strike a balance by following the application rates on the package. And use a fertilizer with a high percentage of controlled-release nitrogen, such as sulfur-coated urea, ureaform or IBDU. These provide a slow, steady nutrient supply.
Think it’s an overstatement to call it the war against weeds? Here’s what you’re up against.
Deprive Weeds of Water
You can get in-depth information on drip irrigation from the Irrigation and Green Industry Network in the “Where to Find It” section.
In the process of trying to eliminate weeds, people often make mistakes that lead to more weeds. Here are the most common:
Irrigation & Green Industry Network
916C N. Formosa Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Fertilize Enough, but Not Too Much
Left unattended, weeds will quickly fill in unplanted areas and any open ground around plants. Mulch spread over the soil surface blocks the sunlight most annual weeds need to take hold. Weeds that do sprout are easy to pull because soil beneath mulch remains loose and moist. Coarse chipped or shredded bark is a good choice for large areas between trees and shrubs because it decomposes slowly and doesn’t easily blow away. For paths, a thick layer of sawdust provides good weed suppression because it depletes nitrogen in the soil.
True Temper Hardware
Camp Hill, PA 17011
I’ve had a heck of a time with this spiky low pinwheel weed for the past three years at our home. I’ve spent most of my summer pulling these things out by the root (or trying to), and my poor fingers have been spiked to the nubs. Found out recently that they’re Canada thistle, and read that the most effective way of getting rid of them is to cut them off at the ground, not pull them up by the roots. If one little bit of root is left behind, it’ll grow back. But if you force the plant to regrow its leaves it’ll eventually use up all of its energy and die.
Now you’re cooking. Easier than solarizing, plug in an old Crock-Pot outdoors, turn it to its lowest setting, and warm batches of compost while you sleep (three hours at 160°F kills most weed seeds).
Excellent info – but please, to be clear, the seed head illustrating #4 is Goldenrod, Not ragweed. There’s a Big difference, primarily that Goldenrod does Not produce Airborne pollen like ragweed does. And although Golden rod can and will get quite weedy, it is also a primary source of nectar for migrating monarch butterflies, so I always make sure I have plenty in my “Every-Man-For-Himself” garden. You know, the one where the tide waxes and wanes annually between the Goldenrod, the Beebalm and the Obedient plant 😉
Young weeds go down much easier than older ones, so make the most of good weeding conditions. Photo: Michelle Gervais
6. Water the plants you want, not the weeds you’ve got
Great tips! Another one is to mow your lawn 3” or higher. This will help provide a better environment for the
grass and a less desirable environment for weeds, resulting in a greener,
thicker lawn. http://grasshopperlawns.com/weed-control/
The one more thing that is not mentioned is landscape fabric. I consider it quite effective and list its advantages at my site https://gardeningadviser.com/
Chopping off weed heads feels good and you’ll reap short- and long-term benefits. Photo: Brandi Spade
Monday: Kill weeds. Tuesday: Kill weeds …
When you can’t remove weeds, the next best thing is to chop off their heads. With annual weeds, deadheading buys you a few weeks of time before the weed “seed rain” begins. Cutting back the tops of perennial weeds, like bindweed, reduces reseeding and forces them to use up food reserves and exhaust their supply of root buds, thus limiting their spread.
Under dry conditions, weeds sliced off just below the soil line promptly shrivel up and die, especially if your hoe has a sharp edge. In mulched beds, use an old steak knife to sever weeds from their roots, then patch any open spaces left in the mulch.