Beat The Weeds

June 26, 2013

 

The know-how you need know to get rid of weeds and keep them from coming back.

It’s summer and your garden is growing and the lawn is looking lush. Hopefully what aren’t growing are weeds. For some of us it seems like even when the summer weather gets hot and our lawns and gardens take a beating—weeds somehow find a way to thrive. Don’t let the crabgrass, dandelions, Bermuda grass, and friends take over! Not only do they hurt the look of your garden, they can steal water and nutrients from the soil that hurt the growth of the plants you do want to grow.

 

Hopefully you got ahead of the weed growing season and took some steps this spring to eliminate weeds before they became invasive. A well grown and cared-for lawn can crowd out the weeds. It is the survival-of-the-fittest mindset. The strong plants and growing lawn don’t give the weeds room or nutrients to grow. If you just have a few weeds sprouting up here or there the simplest way to get rid of them is to pull them out. You can use a tool called a “dandelion puller” or an old screwdriver, just make sure you get the root and reseed the bare spot—or new weeds will re-grow.

 

If there are more weeds than you can pull, first identify the enemy. Knowing what weeds you want to get rid of will help you plan your attack. You then have two basic options—you can try a natural method or you can use an herbicide. The web is filled with options for trying to get rid of weeds naturally—using everything from salt to baking soda to vinegar to kill the plant-- but they don’t always kill the roots. Mulch can help stop weeds in your gardening beds as

well.

 

If you decide to use a chemical herbicide, make sure you read the labels or check with a garden professional so you choose one that won’t do more harm than good. Pre-emergence products kill seeds before they grow, post- emergence kill existing weeds as they are growing, and weed-and-feed products combine fertilizer and herbicides –basically a 2-for-1 to feed what you want to grow and weed out what you don’t.

 

What works best? That’s a tough one—if you aren’t sure what weeds you are battling or what approach to take ask KPBS. A little know-how from a pro can help you make the best choice to beat the weeds that are infiltrating your outdoor space.

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