What’s The Best Way To Prevent Weeds In The Grass And Garden?

May 17, 2015 |

The term weed is very subjective. However, in this case the term is used to refer to invasive plants that normally compete with grass and other garden plants for nutrients, sunlight and space. Some examples of grass and garden weed s are: coarse-leaved grasses, dandelions, buttercups and clover. Identifying weeds early and removing them promptly can alleviate adverse effects. Weeds on the grass may be noticed in various ways, including:

  • the grass lawn being too patchy and with uneven growth rate, different texture and color
  • appearance of flowers on the lawn
  • patches of the lawn remaining green during a drought, when they are supposed to turn brown

Lawn weeds need to be removed carefully as they can survive regular and lose mowing. Most o grass and garden weeds propagate through creeping stems or seeds. They are particularly problematic in places where the grass is sparse. Before opting for the best suited weed control method for your lawn or garden, you first have to establish whether you should use chemical methods or just dig them out.

A weed-free lawn is the dream of every gardener. With some weeds being so stubborn, you need to carefully decide on the approach to use to get rid of weeds in your garden and lawn grass. Many gardeners tend to use synthetic herbicides to control the growth of weeds in their gardens. However, is used inappropriately, these chemicals can be harmful to the turf, pets and people in the home. In the fight against lawn and garden weeds, it is important for you to understand the underlying problems that make lawns vulnerable for weed attack.  There are various methods that may be used to control weeds in the garden and the lawn, some of which are mentioned below.

Fertilize Enough

Fertilizing your lawn inadequately will most likely make the grass lose the competition against weed. On the other hand, too much fertilizer encourages certain weeds to sprout. As such, it is important to add appropriate amounts of fertilizer to the lawn and the garden. For instance, adding too much fertilizer to a lawn can encourage the growth of annual bluegrass, crabgrass and Bermuda grass. To be on the safe side and minimize chances of weed growth, the gardener should only apply the appropriate rates of any fertilizer, as indicated on the fertilizer package. In addition to this, it is also advisable to apply a fertilizer that has a high degree of controlled nitrogen release. Such fertilizers include IBDU, sulfur-coated urea and urea form. Such fertilizers are preferred as they offer a steady yet controlled nutrient supply.

For a healthy lawn, that is weed free, it is also important to consider the timing and frequency of fertilizer application. These two are determined by the length of your growing season as well as the lawn type. Generally, most of the northern lawns only require an application rate of twice a year.

Mow Higher

When mowing your laws, it is advisable to mow higher. Mowing low is known to weaken turf. Mowing low also reduces the ability of the grass leaf to produce adequate nutrients. Additionally, mowing your lawn low allows light from the sun to hit the floor of the lawn. This encourages such weeds as goose grass and crabgrass to sprout. For the most appropriate mowing height, you should check with your local extension service. However, the mowing height, regardless of the grass species, should be about 2 to 4 inches.

Watering Appropriately

While watering your lawn, you should consider watering deeply and infrequently to minimize chances of weed growth. Watering the lawn shallowly and frequently promotes the growth of an array of weeds on the grass such as sedges, bluegrass, chickweed and annual bluegrass. Again, if you water the lawn too little, a number of weeds that thrive in dry conditions may also germinate. Such weeds include quack grass, spotted spurge and Bermuda grass. Therefore, you should provide your lawn with deep soakings that are infrequent. Generally, healthy lawns require only an inch of water per week. To ascertain the amount of watering, you may set an empty tuna can on the lawn.

Pulling Out Weeds Permanently

Once noticed, lawn weeds, including dandelions and other perennial weeds, should be uprooted when they are still young. To begin with, you should first moisten the soil and then pull out the weeds. Once the soil is wet, push a dandelion digger or a sharp spade into the soil, in an angled position towards the centre of the weed to loosen the soil around it. While prying with the tool, pull the weed out along with its roots. After this operation, you should add compost, smooth the soil and plant some lawn seed on the region. Additionally, the region should be kept moist until the grass is about 1 inch high.

Appling Herbicides

This should be the last resort in the fight against weeds. While applying these chemicals, you must ensure that you follow the directions carefully. Additionally, you must use the right herbicide as the wrong one can kill or harm the desirable plants and turf. The herbicide should be safe to use for the variety of tuff you have on your lawn as well as effective against the weeds. Basically, there are three main types of herbicides that may be used in the fight against

  • Pre-emergence herbicides
  • Post emergence herbicides
  • Weed-and-feed products

In their functioning, pre-emergence herbicides kill the weeds before they emerge from the soil. This type of herbicides primarily targets crabgrass. Majority of herbicides in this category are synthetic. The post emergence herbicides on the other hand kill the weeds after they have emerged from the soil. These are currently available in two forms, the systemic and the contact herbicides. Contact post emergence herbicides only the part of the weed they come into contact with while systemic post emergence herbicides circulate in the weed killing the entire herb. Systemic herbicides are best suited for perennial weeds.

Basically, the best way to prevent the growth of weeds, particularly the dandelions, on the lawn is to grow a vigorous and thick cover of grass on the lawn. A dense grass covers on the lawn crowds over the weed seeds, cutting off the sunlight from reaching them. Weed seeds require sunlight for them to germinate. Therefore, if the light is prevented from reaching them, they will not germinate. Is there are a few weeds scattered across your lawn, you may need to change your lawn maintenance tactics in order to get rid of them.

If you decide to use herbicides to weed your lawn or garden, you must understand that no single herbicide, lawn care tactic or even weeding technique can get rid of all types of weeds on the garden or lawn. All lawn weeds may be classified into three broad categories of: grass-like plants known as sedges, broadleaf plants and unwanted grasses. Majority of the troublesome lawn weeds are either perennials annuals. Perennials are particularly hard to control as they seed and spread underground over the years. With the above maintenance practices and control measures, you should be in a position to prevent the growth of most weeds on your lawn and eliminate them when they appear.

For a little more info, check out this video which is quite helpful: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTA-GyPM2CA

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