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Weeds

We live in one of the best growing regions of the country.  Spring is especially bountiful, but brings with it a major weed-control problem. 

What you do before the weeds appear is as important as what control measures are taken later.  Sprinkle weed preventer in flower beds to stop problems before they start; it works by preventing seeds from germinating.   Weedblock, a porous material that lets water in but eliminates weed growth can be rolled out over large areas and eliminates weeds year after year.  Weedblock is great under walkways and under raised beds.  Hand weeding to eliminate dandelions from your lawn is effective early in the season.

Once you have a large crop of weeds growing they can be eliminated by using Roundup.  These destroy all the plants they come in contact with.  They are very useful in driveways along walks and for major renovation.  Other weed control chemicals such as Weed-B-Gone take care of selected weeds.  This product can be used on a lawn to eliminate the broad-leafed weeds only and may be necessary if your lawn weed problem gets away from you.  Safer makes a spot weed killer that works very well to control stubborn weeds in areas that can be reached with a small sprayer.  After using any weed killer, clean your sprayer thoroughly before using another product. Some gardeners have a designated Roundup sprayer that is clearly labeled.

I'm sure that when they rate the most important inventions the weed whacker will rank up there with the space shuttle.  This familiar device spins a string around at a high rate of speed and cuts off weeds at the base.  Keep your trimmer well maintained.  If it has to go into the shop in the spring you will regret it.  Use fresh gas and oil and clean off after using.  Use the correct size trimmer line and replace guards if they become dented.  Trimmer line now comes in a higher grade which lasts longer and a serrated line which cuts better.

WeedBlock

Weedblock is just what you need for easy-maintenance landscaping.  It lets water in but not sunlight, so weeds do not have a chance to grow.  Weedblock can increase soil temperature for earlier spring planting and then conserve soil moisture, reducing watering up to 50%.  It has a UV protectant in it for many years of life, and it can easily be covered with bark, gravel or other landscaping material.  Use it in your vegetable garden to cut way down on weeding.  You can buy it in prepackaged rolls in 3 and 4 foot widths or by the foot or roll in our 6 foot width.

Do you have a grass and weed killer that can be safely used around a flowerbed?

There are many brands, but they will all harm flowers. You can try to shield the plants from overspray, but the best way is to simply pull the weeds.

What is the difference between annual, perennial and biennial weeds?

Annual weeds, such as crabgrass, germinate from seeds each spring. After maturing, they drop seeds before dying. These are the seeds that germinate the following year. Perennial weeds, such as dandelions, do not die at the end of growing season. They may lay dormant in the winter, but will become noticeable in the spring. There are also biennial weeds, such as thistle, which grow vegetation in the first year and then flower and die the second year.

When do I apply pre-emergent herbicides?

These are applied in late winter or early spring before seeds begin to germinate.

When do I apply post-emergent herbicides?

These are used on weeds that are actively growing and should be applied in mid spring. Another excellent time is in early fall.

Why should I use mulch in my beds?

It retains moisture in the soil, reduces the growth of weeds, protects ground temperature, prevents erosion, attracts earthworms, enriches the soil and adds to the beauty of the planting.

When and how do I apply mulch?

Summer is the best time. Applying in the spring slows the soil's ability to warm naturally. Course mulches should be applied 3" to 4" deep and fine mulches 1" to 2" deep. It should be wet thoroughly after application. One cubic foot of course mulch should cover about 3 to 4 square feet of space.

What is the difference between a standard sheet of plastic and a landscape fabric?

A landscape fabric lets water through while preventing weeds from growing. While plastic will stop weeds, it does not allow moisture penetration. Cutting small holes for your plants prevents weeds from growing in the bed but still allows your plants to get moisture. A sheet of plastic could be used if you are trying to keep anything from growing in an area, such as under a deck.