For homeowners who take pride in their lawns, weeds are a bane and a byword. For starters, they defile the texture of a lush, green lawn. They also leech soil nutrients from healthy grass and some of them are even poisonous. Perhaps the most pernicious aspect of weeds is the fact that they proliferate exponentially. Among the worst of this sort are broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, thistles and wild violets.
Found anywhere and everywhere, broadleaf weeds are impossible to thoroughly eradicate. Controlling them, on the other hand, is much less challenging, especially for vigilant caretakers. Here are a few tried and true methods of keeping them at bay.
Bully-Proof Your Lawn
Broadleaf weeds are like school bullies who steal lunch money from kids who are weaker and more isolated. The best defense is a strong and united front. The stronger and healthier your lawn, the less damage the broadleaf weeds are likely to inflict.
Accordingly, cutting grass at a higher setting is preferable to mowing too short. Regular irrigation and fertilization also promote a thick and robust lawn that strangles weed propagation. Careful observation allows you to pull the stubborn broadleaves that remain. Although their seeds are found in almost all soils, a vibrant turf will keep them few and far between.
Show Weeds No Quarter
Under what conditions do weeds thrive? Altering those circumstances can create a hostile work environment for weeds and suppress their spread. Ground ivy, for example, usually grows where soil is damp and sunlight is blocked.
The good news is that soil can be aerated with little more than a spading fork. In addition, solar rays can often find their way to the grass after some simple tree pruning. Of course, if the shade comes from a house or other permanent structure, aeration might be the only option available. The irony here is that hand-weeding is easiest when the soil is wet.
Fight Back with Mulching
Allowing grass clippings to remain on your lawn—instead of bagging them and hauling them away—has a detrimental effect on weeds. While some weeds grow well in the shade, many others wane due to lack of sunlight. Grass clippings not only work to fertilize the lawn, they also block the light needed by broadleaf weeds for photosynthesis. It is a natural, organic and cost-effective way to control weeds and beautify the yard.
Herbicides: When All Else Fails
If you have done everything you know to do and the broadleaf weeds are resolutely holding their ground (pardon the pun), it just might be time for direct action. Some soils are rife with broadleaf seeds and fighting them requires every option.
Growth regulating herbicides are sometimes the most potent weapon in the weed-fighting arsenal. Selective herbicides are composed to specifically kill broadleaf weeds whereas non-selective varieties are more broadly lethal. For lawn owners, selective is the way to protect the grass. Non-selective herbicides are more appropriate for the protection of agricultural crops and plants.
If you want guaranteed weed control without having to figure out what you need, expend the energy to buy and apply it, as well as expose yourself to toxic chemicals, give us a call.