WEED CONTROL OPTIONS
Not only do weeds protect bare soil; over time, they improve the soil every which way. Their roots break up soil to improve aeration and extract nutrients. As weeds’ roots die, they, along with weeds’ dead leaves and stems, decompose to enrich the ground with humus.
Weeds probably correct mineral imbalances in the soil. Contrast the diversity of plants in an uncultivated field with the uniformity of plants in a weed-free cornfield. In the uncultivated field, each plant draws a different balance of nutrients out of the soil; in the cultivated cornfield, corn plants are taking up only what they need. A few weeds there might take up the slack and balance out any proportional excesses of certain nutrients left in the soil after the corn.
Also abusive to the environment is the use of synthetic mulches such as landscape fabrics or black plastic. Over time, landscape fabrics become enmeshed with soil and roots, making it difficult to reconfigure a garden. Black plastic is a disposal nightmare, further contributing to our choking landfills. Neither is wholly effective against weeds. Their ugliness is often hidden beneath a layer of wood chips, which then itself becomes invaded by weeds.
A simple and effective method of weed control, if done regularly, is to stir or break up the surface layer of the soil. Use either a hoe with a blade that can skim just beneath the surface, such as the colinear hoe or the wire or the winged weeder, or a rototiller set for very shallow tilling.
Another problem with weeds is they can harbor pests that spill over to your garden plants. Horse nettle, for example, is a relative of potato that gives potato beetles a start early in the season before they move onto potatoes. Lambsquarters also can host verticillium wilt, a disease that can also afflict tomatoes.
Given their dark side, weeds obviously cannot be afforded free rein in the garden. Many avenues exist for keeping them in check. Herbicides should be a last resort. Too easily they might cause incidental harm to garden plants or other parts of the environment. Continued use also favors the growth of weeds resistant to the herbicide.
Areas where the lawn meets concrete (e.g. along driveway and sidewalk edges)
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.
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:
Questions about our environmentally responsible weed control treatments? Worried about areas in your lawn that may be vulnerable to weed attack? Contact your local Weed Man!
These areas are particularly vulnerable to infestation because there is simply not enough healthy, nutrient-rich soil or grass present to crowd out aggressive weeds. Since the majority of local properties feature at least one or several of the problem areas listed above, many homeowners struggle with maintaining a weed-free lawn all year round.