Any gardener worth a spade grows frustrated when a carefully tended garden still shows weeds. Digging and pulling these pesky, uninvited plants may initially provide some satisfaction but after several repeat performances, the sense of fulfillment can turn to irritation.
Weeding by hand is a practical and economic option for a backyard garden, but for larger tracts such as lawns or landscapes, professionals such as Lakewood Lawn Service can get the job done.
Dormant seeds are usually present in any backyard or community garden. Weed seeds, when brought closer to the surface by digging, can quickly germinate so avoid repeat digging when possible.
Mulch is a top coating of material that improves the productivity of soil by conserving moisture, improving fertility, reducing the spread of weeds and enhancing visual appeal. Some organic mulch mixtures contain bugs such as crickets that eat seeds and reduce the number of weed seeds present. Other choices include seed-free mulch to help reduce weed spread.
Wetter Is Better
Pulling weeds is easier when soil is wet after rain or irrigation. For broadleaf weeds with fibrous roots like chickweed, using a narrow tool such as an old kitchen fork that can grab and twist out the weed by the roots is recommended.
For taproot weeds, such as dandelions, a narrow, forked-end tool works best at digging out the weed, root and all. Tools for removing taproot weeds are available for when kneeling or standing up.
Under dry conditions, weeds can be removed by slicing them off just below the surface using a sharp-edged hoe for larger areas or a narrow-bladed knife for mulched beds. After weeds are removed, cover the spot with mulch to prevent a return appearance.
Cutting Off the Tops
Later in the season, cutting off the tops of weeds such as dandelions before they produce seeds can delay seed output.
Cutting off the tops of perennial weeds reduces seed production and causes the plant to stress and deplete the food supply in its roots.
When beneficial plants are grouped closer together, they block out the sunlight weeds need to thrive. Most plants can be spaced 25% closer than the producer recommends and still thrive.
When weeds don’t receive sufficient water, seed germination is usually cut by half to three-quarters. Irrigation drip lines and soaker hoses should run next to plants and under the mulch layer.
The many rewards of a backyard garden are enhanced with a regular, attentive visit by the weed patrol.