If you want to have a lush, green and healthy garden then maintenance is your number one defense against weeds.
If your lawn tends to get flooded with weeds on a regular basis, it is a sign that there is most likely an imbalance of nutrients in your soil. Before worrying about how to remove weeds, first think about making your lawn and its grass as healthy as possible.
Try not to stretch your lawn over too large an area. It is much better to have a small patch of green, healthy grass than a really large area with yellow or brown grass in poor condition. When first planting a lawn, always buy grass seeds that are of high quality and be wary of pre-mixed topsoil that is sold at landscape supply yards as this often contains weed seeds. It may be better to mix your own soil if you can.
The recommended way to remove weeds is to simply pull them up and dig out the roots as well. Once the weeds and roots have dried in the sun they can be added to a compost pile. Another really simple way of killing weeds is to simply pour dihydrogen monoxide, another term for water, over leaves and stems of the weeds. Apart from the risk of spilling boiling water on yourself, this is the method which is least harmful to both you and the environment.
Another easy and safe to use method is to apply some white vinegar directly onto the leaves of any weeds. While this is a more tedious method of killing weeds, the 5% acetic acid found in vinegar will be strong enough to kill most weeds whereas the version of this chemical that you will find in stores contains up to 20% acetic acid which can be harmful to your lungs, eyes and skin.
Yet another weed removal method is to use a flame-weeder tool which can be bought from garden stores. It lets you apply direct flame to the weed and after repeated application, will cause the immediate removal of the plant. However, this method is best left to the professionals due to the obvious potential for your entire garden to catch fire if not controlled properly.
A small patch of weeds is easy to take care of as it can be simply pulled out or dug. If you have a larger scale weed infestation then it would be better to focus on making your grass healthy instead of flooding the lawn with harmful chemicals. Of course, initially you will have to use chemicals to take care of large-scale weeds. In this case, try to use organic herbicide as much as possible.
A point most people don’t follow is related to mowing your lawn. Make sure that when you are mowing your lawn, the mower is set at the highest speed, which will make sure that grass grows back thick, making it harder for weeds to grow.
Check your water
While regular watering in certain lawn types is advised, for example in lawns with grasses such as Bermuda and Zoysia, most grasses won’t require too much water. Perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass, both of which are grasses for the cool season can be watered twice a week. Over-watered lawns tend to have more weeds than drier lawns. Some signs that your lawn has been over-watered are:
- Reddish-orange grass is a sign of rust fungus. When you over-water your lawn, the blades of the grass remain wet and fungal growth is promoted. You will also notice brown spikes on the end of leaf blades.
- There will be more weeds in areas which have been watered too much as weeds tend to thrive in wetter conditions. Decrease the watering to stop growth of common weeds such as yellow nutsedge, a weed that can grow up to 3 feet tall.
- Yellow or light green patches are also a sign of overwatering
- Spongy ground is a very clear sign of over-watering so try walking on your lawn to get instant answers to your water troubles.
To check that you aren’t wasting too much water on watering your lawn, it would be a good idea to install an Irrigation flow meter.
Make sure to use herbicide that is as environmentally friendly as possible as this will be beneficial for your soil and for yourself, especially if you grow anything edible such as vegetables or fruits. If you use herbicides or pesticides or fungicides which have a high chemical content, it will pollute your drinking water, groundwater and surface water. Always make sure you consider the long term consequences of using harsh chemicals on your environment. Gentler herbicides won’t add to water contribution. A quick and easy way to treat weeds is by using a weed control product that has been marked safe for lawns and which will target weeds directly.
Using the proper care when watering your lawn and making sure not to kill weeds using very harsh chemicals will ensure that your lawn grows to be lush and green all year round. Keep track of how much water you are putting into the lawn because overwatering can also push out nutrients from the soil.