How to Get Your Weeds Under Control

Weeds are definitely annoying, and always seem to pop up in the wrong places. They compete with other plans and often outgrow them if they’re not taken care of. They grow and spread quite easily by dispersing their seeds all over your yard.

The best way to defeat your enemy is to know your enemy. Take notice to what type of weeds are growing and find out the ones you don’t know. If you are in over your head and can’t count how many types of weeds you have, start with eliminating one species at a time. Surf the internet to find out what they are and the best way to kill them.

Weeding doesn’t have to be such a pain, so follow these steps and make it a breeze.

Right tools for the job

The fork-like claw is a new weed’s night mare, but virtually useless on established weeds. Buy yourself a sharp streel trowel to help you dig through the soil and get under the toughest weeds.

For weeds that have been around for a while and have big, long roots, use a spade to remove them for good. Always wear gloves to protect your hands from whatever may be in the dirt, or on a nearby plant. It’s okay to take them off when you are pulling brittle weeds with flimsy stems.

When to weed

Weeds are most easily pulled when the soil is damp. This way the roots easily slip out of the ground without leaving any parts behind. During the summer months, the mornings or late afternoons are best.

Instead of designating one day a week or month to weeding, just do a quick sweep every couple of days so nothing goes unpicked and nothing gets established.

How they spread

Some weeds like nutsedge and plantain grow in clumps and have strong roots that aren’t easily pulled. Use your trowel to dig under the root and wedge it up and out.

Some weeds spread by runners, rhizomes, and rambling stems. Other weeds like crabgrass which is easy to remove, have a lot tougher rhizomes.

Dig deep with a mattock or spade to get every rhizome from plants like torpedgrass, quackgrass, and any other aggressive weed. The weeds with fragile rhizome like dollarweed and dayflower and a bit trickier because their rhizomes often break off and regrow quickly. Use your trowel to remove soil around the plant and pull the long dangly stem out of the ground carefully.

A weed is often producing thousands of seeds and spreading them all over your yard. Dislodge the seedlings with a hoe or cultivator, or grab them by hand before they grow feet and take off.

Prevent weeds from returning

When you’re pulling a weed try not to throw it in the yard as the weeds can easily find ground and regrow. Place them in a container so you can keep the weeds you pick and let them sit in the sun for a few hours. This should kill them, and once they’re dead, throw them in the compost or in the garbage.

Weeds will still come back even if you pull every single one of them. They will be blown in by the wind, deposited by bird poo, or as a tag along in a nursery plant. Whenever you see one pull it!

One weed can contain a hundred more duplicates in its seedpods and roots. You should pull them before they take hold.

Try not to disturb the soil since dormant weeds will start growing once they see sunlight. This is one reason you should use mulch paper. Try mulching as soon as you can after an extensive pull so no seeds have the chance to see the sun.

Landscape fabric is one of your best defenses, but don’t go overkill as it can block water from reaching your plants. 

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