Very few things piss off the gardener quite like weed does. Considering the amount of work you put in, it doesn’t seem fair at all. In fact, you could be tempted of thinking of the devil whenever you see those pesky plants pop up.
They seem to find a way to come back. Good thing is that there are proven and tested methods to completely kill the weed in your lawn and to prevent them from ever coming back. But first what is weed?
What is Weed?
Take it easy. We are not talking about that other stuff that gets you high. Weed is any plant that grows where it is unwanted or where it is not supposed to be.
There are many varieties of weed and they can be categorized into three; broad leafed weed, grass-like weeds and grassy weeds.
Broad leafed weeds include clover, dandelions, dollar weed, oxalis, plantain and thistle. These have broad and flat leaves as the name suggests.
Grass like leaves examples include wild onion, nut sedge and wild garlic. The leaves are similar in appearance to grass. They however may be hollow shaped or triangular.
Grassy weeds could tempt you into thinking they are simply part of the lawn. They look in most respects like the grass itself including how they grow. Examples are crabgrass, quack grass, and fox tail.
How to Keep Weeds in Check
The method you choose to control the weed menace in your lawn really depends on the amount of weeds there is. If it’s only a few here and there, you could opt to physically uproot the individual plants. When doing this ensure the soil is moist. This will prevent you from cutting the roots which would cause the weed to grow back.
Suppose the whole lawn is littered with weeds. Then there are two ways you can go about getting rid of them. One, you can use a weed-and-feed product. This will kill off the weed while fertilizing your lawn at the same time. Or you could use a compatible herbicide that doesn’t kill the grass, just the weed.
Making Sure the Weeds Don’t Grow Back
Early spring is the best time to control annual weeds such as foxtail and crabgrass. These are at their most vulnerable since they are just starting to grow or are at their seedling stage.
Applying a weed-and-feed product carefully while following the instructions given on the label will ensure that the weeds are tackled when still young. This will also give the grass a chance to grow better since there is less competition for nutrients.
There are a few simple tips that you could follow that will prevent your lawn from being overrun by weeds.
Shallow watering will causes the lawn grass to develop a weak and shallow root system. During times of drought, the grass will dry off easily leaving patches where the weeds could grow.
By watering deeply, the roots will also dig down deeper making the grass more resistant to the heat and making it able to compete with the weeds.
Increase Mowing Height
All plants require ample sunlight to develop. By increase the height of your lawn mower blades, you leave long grass blades where the sunlight doesn’t get to the ground. This makes it harder for the weeds to photosynthesize and grow.
Fertilize Your Lawn
This provides the lawn with sufficient nutrients to grow green and lush. When the grass is thick, weed will find it hard to find a spot to grow.
If you are one of those people who is not particularly excited on the use of chemicals, then you will be pleased to know that you can use homemade herbicides to control the weed problem. The good thing is that you do not have to be concerned about the run off reaching the water ways and causing pollution.
This is a little known way of getting rid of unwanted plants. Simply pick up a pot and fill it with water. Turn on the stove and let it boil.
Carefully pick the water once it is boiled and pour it on the plants that you want to get rid of. The water will simply kill off any plants it gets into contact with. Be careful not to spill over a large area or on garden plants as these will die off too.
Using water is by far the best environmentally friendly way of getting rid of weeds. In case a patch is left, you can simply reseed with good quality grass seeds.
The common white vinegar in your kitchen is a natural herbicide. It contains up to 5% acetic acid and this is what causes the weeds to waste away. You may however need to apply multiple times for it to be effective.
To help vinegar stick onto the leaves of the plants, mix it with a little dish washing detergent. When the mixture is struck by the warm sun, it dries quickly slowly being assimilated into the plant and eventually causing it to die off.
You can also use a hand sprayer to apply the mixture. To ensure the surrounding grass is not affected, you can use plastic to over it.
Sodium chloride can easily be applied to kill off any unwanted plants. Simply mix one part salt to 3 parts water and put the mixture inside a hand sprayer. Use this on any plants that you do not want in the lawn. While it may take multiple sprays, it is a very effective method.
One thing you need to look out for is the surrounding plants or grasses that you don’t want to harm. A clever technique is to cover the area around the weed with plastic.
By following the above simple steps, weed will no longer continue to affect the quality of your lawn. Whether you want a quick and efficient herbicide or simply opt for home remedies, the choice is yours!