-- OUTDOOR MAINTENANCE --
Weeding Is The Task Every Person Hates
When asking any group of homeowners, gardens and yes, even professional lawn care providers, what their most disliked outdoor choir is, they all seem to come up with the same answer: “Weeding!” Weeding is the worst, that’s why we’ve added it to our weekly services so you don’t personally have to go through the pain. But if you’re looking to go through a little summer pain yourself, here are some tips for keeping your landscape weed free.
Weekly pulling is so important. Letting your weeds run rampant throughout your garden beds creates more damage than just aesthetics; weeds actually steal water and valuable nutrients from the soil that are beneficial to healthy plant life.
On top of that, the longer you let a weed grow the harder it becomes to pull out of the ground. If you commit to pulling your weeds weekly, weeds will remain small, making it easier to pick out of the earth. Maintaining a strict weekly regimen may seem annoying but it will save you time in the long run.
Bonus tip: Go out and pull some weeds after a hard rain or after the sprinklers run for a while. Pulling weeds when the soil is wet not only makes it easier to remove but also improves your chances of pulling the entire root system.
Pulling weeds may be frustrating but it’s imperitve that you take your time and pull them out correctly the first time. Many “manual weed pullers” are tempted to reach down and grab a handful of weeds and tug. As fulfilling as this might be, it’s not necessarily effective. Take your time, grabbing each weed by the base, slowly easing the entire root system out of the soil.
If the pulling gets tough and you can’t give it a light tug from the base, it might be time to consider cutting it out. Yes, the roots will still be in the soil, but oftentimes, removing the entire growing part of the plant will suffocate the plant by eliminating sunlight exposure.
Pulling weeds by hand is no easy task, so herbicides may be your next best option if you aren’t loving the idea of picking each weed by hand. To be more specific, foliar herbicides will be your herbicide of choice to control weed growth in your garden beds. Foliar herbicides are designed in a way that glyphosate gets absorbed by leaves or stems and carried to the roots along with the carbohydrates produced in leaves. In simpler terms: you spray a weed with poison and it dies. If you are a little more particular about herbicide use and want to use as little of it as possible be sure to wait for the perfect time to spray. If you are choosing to treat perennials (dandelions, etc.) the optimal timing for spraying is when the flower actually buds. If you are treating a woody species, the best time to spray would be early fall before the plants start turning colors.
Just be sure to consider the pros and cons of herbicides prior to use:
- Spraying a herbicide effectively kills individual weeds or large areas that are a majority weeds. (you’ve seen the Roundup commercials… it’s simple.)
- Foliar herbicides also have the added benefit of working fast, sometimes killing weeds within 24 hours of the first application.
- There’s no need to remove the weeds after spraying, saving you time and strain on your back. If you have a ton of weeds and don’t like that look, wait for one week after application and then rake them up for disposal.
- One of the biggest negatives is your lack of control of the herbicide. You could accidentally spray beneficial plants or inadvertently spray your lawn leading to harm or death of that plant.
- Herbicides are chemicals which means they are environmentally sensitive at the time of application, so be cautious when applying herbicides around or near lakes, ponds, or rivers.
- Timing of the application matters. NEVER apply post-emergent to wet foliage.
- Exposure may lead to skin irritation or respiratory problems if inhaled.