Nothing can distract more from a beautiful landscape than to see ugly weeds popping up from everywhere whether they are big or small weeds.
I remember the days when I would be out there in the landscape for hours weeding. For me, those days were days that I worked my fingers off. And to make matters worst, weeding in direct sunlight on those long summer days. Oh, how I would pray for lunchtime and knock off time to come.
In this article, we will be looking at weeds and how to deal with them.
I want to first establish this fact. Weeds are here to stay! It does not matter how much we weed whether hand weeding, weeding with a cutlass or hoe or even using the many herbicides that are on the market, weeds will continue to show up where they are not wanted in our landscapes and gardens.
Winning the war on weeds
How do we win the war on weeds?
I believe that by putting an effective program in place we can stay on top of the many weeds that show up in our gardens and landscape. There would be times when it would rain for days and I was overcome with joy just to see how the landscape and gardens were being watered (nothing like a dose of good old rainwater) not to mention the relaxation that I would experience during those times. As they say ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ as for me this jack was enjoying every moment of it.
In the midst of all that excitement, as soon as the rain would stop you would be faced again with the popping up again of all the weeds that were just abundantly watered by nature and energized by radiant sunlight.
Knowledge of weeds is the first key I believe in winning the war against weeds. With that in mind, it’s only a matter of putting not just any program but an effective program in place. The thing about weeds is that weed seeds are present in the soil waiting for the right opportunity to germinate. Weeds will compete with plants for moisture, nutrients, and sunlight. If you take away one of these elements, weeds won’t stand a chance.
With this said, we will be looking at some weed control methods.
As was said before, weeds will compete with other plants for moisture, nutrients, and sunlight. So by maintaining a landscape and garden that is growing vigorously and healthy will go a long way in the war on weeds. Any space or bare spot within the landscape will sooner or later be taken over by weeds so make sure there are no bare, unmaintained spots within your landscape.
Mulches are another method of cultural control that is effective in the war on weeds. Mulches not only beautify our landscapes, add nutrients to the soil, conserve soil moisture or keep soil temperature cool but mulches are also used to help suppress weeds. When applying mulch you should apply no more than 3 inches. If applied too thin, weeds will grow through. You can also purchase rubber mulches that look natural and last a lot longer.
Mechanically controlling weed is a process by which weeds are physically removed whether by mowing, hoeing pulling by hand or digging. This method can be very time consuming plus costly as far as labor is concerned. Cost depends on the extent of the work. Remember when pulling, hoeing, or digging, it is important to not only remove the top part of the weeds but also the roots if you want success.
Tillage is another means by which weeds are controlled. This method is usually used in large areas where the weeds are plowed under or turned to loosen up the soil. This method buries the weeds.
Chemical control is another effective means of weed control. Chemicals are dangerous and should be handled by someone that has been trained in this area. There are selective herbicides and non-selective herbicides to choose from. With selective herbicides, you can treat planted areas within the landscape. Extreme care should be taken.
Non-selective herbicides are highly dangerous and should only be used in areas far from other plants. Non-selective herbicides will kill everything that it comes in contact with. Even drift off mist when attempting to spray plants on a windy day can have an effect on nearby plants.
Herbicides can be used by spot treating or by broadcasting meaning putting the herbicides in a tank sprayer to treat large areas. Protective clothing should be worn when applying these chemicals along with goggles, gloves, respirator and protective footwear. Also, follow the label for the label is LAW.
Then there is pre-emergent meaning this type of herbicides is applied before weeds germinate. Therefore timing and having proper knowledge of weeds that are affected by this herbicide is important.
Then you have the post-emergent which is applied after weeds germinate.
This method uses animals such as sheep, goats, cows, and horses to graze on large areas. This is an environmentally safe way to reduce weed population.
Winning the war on weeds is possible no matter how challenging it may seem. Once you put the right methods into practice. Weeds do not only detract from our landscapes and gardens but weeds can also harbor insects that can attack our gardens and landscape plants and they can also be a resting place for snakes and mosquitoes.
Another way to control mosquitoes population is by keeping our landscape and garden free of weeds. So let’s get started by putting these methods into practice.