Most lawn owners agree that ridding it of weeds is one of the most constant battles they must wage in lawn care. How can you successfully win this battle? You may be surprised to learn that you have a variety of options not only to get rid of existing weeds but also to prevent them in the first place. Read on to learn about six options to consider.
1. Keep Your Lawn Full
A healthy, happy lawn leaves no room for weeds. Patchy or sparse lawns provide plenty of space, soil, sunlight, and water for weeds to grow instead.
Therefore, weed control starts with focusing on weak areas in your lawn’s health. This may involve things like testing the soil to determine if the pH fits with your species of grass, adjusting irrigation plans, or choosing a grass better suited to your climate.
2. Mow Less Often
The rate and way you mow the grass could help keep out weeds. As mentioned above, a lush lawn squeezes out weeds from its space. So a fuller lawn can also do the same. If you mow less often, leaving the grass a little taller, the thickness and height block out weeds. This denies weed seeds light and water, inhibiting their growth.
3. Learn About Weeds
All weeds are not the same. Not only do the means of removing them differ, but the reasons they exist differ. For example, many weeds come in either broadleaf or grassy varieties. They may also be either annual or perennial. Perennial grassy weeds may die back with the grass in the winter but reemerge in summer. So attacking them calls for a separate strategy from that against clover, dandelions, or other broadleaf weeds.
If you’re not sure what types of weeds you have, consult with a nursery or landscape professional. Some weeds look very similar to the layperson, but a professional can identify them more accurately. Then, learn about the best ways to counter your specific weed issues — even if it means tackling one weed problem at a time.
4. Use Mulch
Organic and inorganic mulch are valuable tools in the fight against weeds. Mulch does this in a few different ways.
First, you can line the ground with weed prevention tools like fabric before placing mulch, creating a barrier against weed growth. Second, the mulch itself stunts the growth of weeds by preventing light, water, and oxygen from reaching them. And, third, it fills in bare spots in and around the lawn where you have trouble keeping it green and full. So the mulch can serve as a barrier just like a thick layer of grass.
5. Adjust Your Manual Strategy
Pulling individual weeds is one of the best ways to get rid of them, but it’s one of the least desirable for most homeowners. Can you take advantage of the benefits of manual weeding while minimizing the effort it takes? Yes. One way is to learn better weeding techniques. For instance, you want to get down to the full root of weeds rather than simply pulling them from the top. While this takes more time, it also does a more complete job.
In addition, consider whether you have the right tools for the job. Many people use a small spade or trowel, but you could add a dandelion digger, L-shaped crack weeder, or scuffle hoe to your tool kit. These tools target weeds in different locations — from those that are particularly hard to reach to those that are overrunning a spot — to give you the most bang for your labor buck.
6. Play the Long Game
The battle against weeds in a lawn must be waged with patience. Certainly, weeds can be frustrating and can cause many homeowners to reach for things that offer quick results — such as herbicides and chemicals. But with a more patient approach, you can instead get rid of problems for a much longer time.
For example, an inorganic weed killer sprayed on broadleaf weeds may kill the ones currently in existence or even prevent new ones from coming up this spring. But what about next spring? Would you like a more permanent solution? Rather than focus on the weeds you see, you might change how you water to correct the moisture levels in the whole lawn. With less standing water, moisture-loving weeds can’t thrive.
Where to Start
Could you use help waging your war against weeds? If you’re already annoyed or constantly face an uphill battle for weed control, the answer is probably yes. If so, start by consulting with the weed prevention pros at Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc. We’ll help you analyze the types of weeds you have, the root causes of your troubles, and the best long-term solutions to conquer them. Call today to make an appointment.