Hopefully, you will see fewer and fewer annual weeds as the season progresses. The reality, however, is that new seeds will always find their way in and some seeds remain dormant in the soil until ideal conditions present themselves and they germinate. Weeding is an ongoing process; if you can get in the habit of removing weeds each time you work in your garden, it won’t become an overwhelming task.
In general, it's much easier to eradicate annual weeds than it is perennial weeds.
Just as with other plants, weeds can be cool-season or warm-season annuals.
Perennial weeds are the most difficult to control. They spread by seed and creeping roots and if you don’t pull the entire root, the plant can actually reproduce from every piece of root left behind. You’ll have similar problems with perennial weeds that grow deep, hard-to-remove taproots.
Just like plants you intentionally grow in your garden, weeds can be annuals or perennials.
If there’s a bare spot in your garden, a weed seed will find it. Weeds aren’t bad plants; they’re just plants that are growing where you don’t want them to. Some weeds are easily removed by hand. Others are persistent about growing back and become more and more difficult to eradicate the longer they are left to establish themselves and spread.
Annuals vs. Perennials
Hoeing and tilling are not good choices for removing perennial weeds. Hand weeding will work if you are very thorough about removing the entire plant and its root system. If you can handle cold temperatures, perennial weeds pull out most easily in the early spring, when the ground has recently thawed. Sometimes an herbicide is the only solution for eradicating tough perennial weeds like poison ivy, ground ivy, and brambles.
Annual weeds spread by seed. They can self-seed or the seeds can be brought into the garden by birds, four-legged animals, or by sticking to your clothing. Examples of annual weeds include chickweed, crabgrass, knotweed, lambs-quarters, common mallow, pigweed, purple deadnettle, groundsel, nettle (common), purslane, speedwell, spurge, and yellow wood sorrel (oxalis).
But don’t fret – a lush, uniform lawn structure isn’t a suburban legend. Homeowners can keep weeds at bay and enjoy a pristine yard by following the tips below:
Mow higher. Raise your mowing height. Although many homeowners love the look of a closely cropped lawn, mowing too low can lead to a thin turf structure and cause weeds to creep in seemingly overnight.
Your lawn is an ever-changing, living entity that requires ongoing cultivation in order to remain protected from weed infestation. Any change in a lawn’s environment, structure, or quality can act as an invitation for weeds to take over — and trust us when we say that they will take over without hesitation (and in the blink of an eye!).
At any given time, your lawn may be home to thousands of weed seeds that are eager to germinate. Given the right conditions, weeds will be all too happy to invade your turf. Some of the most common growth areas include:
Be careful not to over water. Loose, saturated soil can be a breeding ground for weeds. If you’ve seen regular rainfall in your neighborhood, supplemental watering may not be needed.
Anywhere compacted soil can be found
Wet/soaked portions of the lawn
Areas where the lawn meets concrete (e.g. along driveway and sidewalk edges)