While I do appreciate that a weed is simply a plant in an undesirable location, I also understand the chore that comes with them. I never knew what a weed problem was until I moved to a tract of land that was previously a wild space and chemical treated farmland. Acres of open space for weeds to blow and I was in the middle of it.
The first thing I knew I had to do was to amend the soil. Weeds prosper in poor soil so amending it was a benefit. Compost is a chemical chelate, it breaks down into food for new trees, plants and lawn and retains moisture.
Plant an Ecosystem
Keep your beds full. The fuller your plant beds are with plant material the less chance weeds have to grow. Native plants and trees take up real estate in beds blocking light and room for weeds to grow.
Keep Beds Mulched for Better Weed Control
Keep a minimum of 4″ of mulch in your beds. Compost and mulch every spring, and again in the fall. Shredded natural colored hardwood mulch is the best choice for beds. As previously mentions, these act as a weed preventative, helps with water retention and protects the compost from being burned up before it can do the most good.
Mulch can also keep the temperature of the ground a little cooler and prevents cracking of foundations when placed around a home. Be sure however, to allow at least 4-6″ of space from mulch to foundation to prevent termite damage.
Use a Plastic Liner Beneath Rock
The river rock path (above) is an excellent way to address drainage, function and compaction; they are still maintenance in the way of weeds. I recommend river rock sidewalks have a 4-6mil painters plastic liner and landscape pins attaching the plastic beneath the river rock anywhere there are no large plants or trees such as the space above. Only use landscape fabric beneath rock when you have large plants or trees whose roots could be covering access to mature plants. If possible simple cut large holes in the plastic allowing for water to each plant in the beds, or use fabric and expect to replace it in about two years when the weeds have penetrated it like a spaghetti strainer.
NEVER Use Chemical Weed Killers
Fabric lasts about 3 years in our heat and once the fabric has been compromised, the swearing and desperation starts which typically looks a lot like a job for Round Up. You’d be WRONG! Round up is NEVER the answer to anything but more disease and ecological devastation so don’t use rock if you’re not going to hand weed or use an organic weed killer.
Buy A Quality Weed Popper Tool
Weeds are the enemy when we are seeking heathy lawns and flower beds. Most weeds are easiest to pull right after a rain or the day of irrigation. This is the best time to get roots and all because the plant is nice and plump and not so easily detached from the root. Weed poppers like these can be great tools for the job.
Embrace The Weeds!
Sometimes our lawn is the weed. Sods like Bermuda are invasive sods that send out runners and stolons that create more plants and so on. However, if your lawn consists of mostly weeds that aren’t prickly and stay evergreen, you have the best lawn going. Weed lawns are natures carpet so if you’re tired of fighting, just join em. Mow weekly and you’ll have a super drought tolerant ground cover of native and adapted plants that are perfectly happy in your space.
Consistency Is Key
Consistently making a plan to remove weeds as they come in is the best way irradiate the problem. Make a point every other Saturday morning or Tuesday evening (but you have to pick a day) to get out there and pull for 15 minutes and you should have things well in control.
Never Allow Weeds to go to seed
Immediately after flowering, weeds go into seed production. Never let your lawn or bed weeds go to seed (above). Remember that weeds blow and once you start that cycle it can take years to correct. Be sure to rinse your lawn mower after each mow to rinse off weed seed. If you have a service, ask if they have a protocol to avoid this. Otherwise, theyre bringing every seed and disease they mowed over from all the other yards they service.
Consider It Therapy
Finally, don’t get frustrated. Removing weeds can be a great form of therapy. Frankly, I take it rather personally and I’ve been known to kick the heads off of a few after a long day in traffic. Like bad thoughts, they will take over if you let them. Here’sHere’s some more information to get you started.
Lisa’s Landscape & Design
“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”
- Posted in: Gardening in Central Texas
Great article! Those nasty chemical weed and feed products wash right into our rivers and streams and drinking water! Corn Gluten is an organic, pre emergence herbicide that adds vital nutrients to the soil, amending it
You’re so right! Corn gluten also kills fire ants and adds nitrogen to the soil. 😉