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Ways to control your weeds
Ways to control your weeds

Weed Management Techniques Aristotle is attributed with saying “Nature abhors a vacuum.” The truth of that
statement is all too obvious when it comes to our garden beds. Nature is
perpetually trying to fill every nook and cranny with plant life, what we would
call weeds.

It is a constant battle to fight against so powerful a force! But there are tools
that we have at our disposal to weigh the odds in our favor.

I think the best preventative is a thick layer of mulch. Not only does this go a
long way in preventing weed seed germination by shading the soil, but it also
cools plant roots in the summer and insulates them in the winter. It helps prevent
soil compaction and provides a great soil conditioner as it breaks down. Read more
about mulch here [insert link to mulch article]

You can also apply a pre-emergent (such as Preen) in the spring. As the name
suggests, this product must be applied before weed seeds emerge – that is, sprout.
It contains a chemical which inhibits germination but once the seed has germinated it is no longer effective. It cannot kill existing weeds. These would have to be pulled out. Pre-emergent must be watered in as it breaks down rapidly in sunlight. It can also be applied in early fall. Personally, my favorite control for existing weeds is the good old fashioned kind.
A scuffle hoe works great. I also love my hori hori knife for long rooted weeds
such as dandelions.

For hard to weed areas or vegetable gardens, a thick layer of wet newspapers or
even cardboard under the mulch does a surprisingly good job at keeping weeds at
bay for a season. The best part? Unlike weed cloth, the paper decomposes on its
own, does not constrict root growth of desirable plants and worms just love it.
Worms are your garden’s best friend as their castings are a fantastic fertilizer
and their tunneling aerates our heavy Midwestern clay soil.

It is important to set expectations realistically and set out to control the weed
population, rather than expect a complete eradication of weeds (which is impossible).
Armed with this attitude and the tools laid out above, you will be successful in
your quest for a yard you can be proud of!



Nicole Gear
scott flanagan landscape

Scott Flanagan Landscape    708.460.5884    sfl@scottflanaganlandscape.com