Five Tips That Minimize Landscape Weeds

One of the most frustrating lawn maintenance tasks is the annual battle against unwanted weeds. Although many people think of things like dandelions and crab grass when weeds are mentioned, any plant — including desirable garden bed plants — can become a weed when it grows in an unwanted area. The following are a few tips that can help you prevent weeds in your landscape.

#1: Avoid Bare Soil

Weeds are opportunistic, so they will invade any area of the yard that isn't otherwise occupied. Planting desirable plants closer together, particularly in flower beds, can minimize weed growth. A lush lawn is also less likely to have weeds because the grass crowds it out. If you do have bare soil, cover it with landscape fabric and mulch, or at least mulch, to prevent weeds from taking over.

#2: Weed Earlier Rather Than Later

It may seem easier to pull weeds as they get larger and are easier to see, but the best time to pull a weed is when it is young and has a week root system. You can usually pluck weeds at this point right out of the ground. In larger areas, shallow cultivation that disturbs the top inch or so of soil will likely kill the young weeds without turning up weeds seeds that lie dormant deep inside the soil.

#3: Use the Right Herbicides

Sometimes herbicides are the best solution, but you need to use the right herbicide at the right time. Pre-emergent herbicides are applied before weeds start to appear, generally in late winter for spring weeds and mid- to late spring for summer weeds. Post-emergent herbicides are typically targeted to a specific type of weed, such as a grass or broadleaf weed, and must be applied directly to the weed plants you want to destroy.

#4: Edge in Your Beds

Flowers become weeds when they move from your beds and into your lawn, whereas lawn grass becomes a weed when it invades a flower bed. Install edging around your flower beds to prevent this issue. Edging strips must be buried several inches deep to prevent roots from cross over. They must also be a couple of inches tall so weeds don't grow over the top.

#5: Keep Up With Deadheading

Seeds from both weeds and desired plants can spread quite far, which means even desired plants may pop up in unwanted areas. Deadheading, which is cutting off the old flowers before they go to seed, can prevent both weeds and desired plants from spreading.

For more help with weed issues in your landscape, contact a residential landscaping maintenance service.