What exactly are weeds? We know them as the pesky things that sprout up unwanted in our gardens. But knowing what exactly they are and why they’re there can be helpful in getting rid of them. Weeds can be described as unwanted plants or ones that are growing out of place. They are defined by three main characteristics:
- Having little to no value (such as medicinal, nutritional, or energy)
- Very high growth rate and/or ease of reproduction
- Competes with other crops for space, light, water, and nutrients
Identifying weeds properly and having an understanding of how and why weeds are growing in your yard are important in order to select the best control strategy. In addition, being aware of whether or not the weeds were previously present in a particular area will also help you know how to control weeds in the future. It may come as a surprise, but weed control can actually be a very carefully planned and coordinated process rather than a hit-or-miss operation. Here are some helpful tips from John Madison Landscape on how to handle weeds growing in your yard:
- There are ways to prevent weeds without using any chemicals. These are commonly practiced by organic gardeners or farmers. A 5-10 cm layer of wood chip mulch on the ground is one way to prevent most weeds from sprouting. Other organic methods include drip irrigation, using vinegar or boiling water, tilling and plowing, using a “weed mat” by laying down several layers of wet newspaper or a black plastic sheet, and of course manually pulling the weeds.
- Weed control can also be achieved by the use of herbicides. There are several types of herbicides that each have their own method for killing or preventing weed growth. The types of herbicides most commonly used are contact, systemic, soil-borne, and pre-emergent. The differences in these are where they are applied and what they target. Herbicides are known for their effectiveness in quickly killing unwanted weeds while leaving the desired plant virtually unharmed.
In certain situations some degree of weed growth may be desirable. Knowing how weeds reproduce, spread, and survive adverse conditions can help in developing effective control and management strategies. Some plants have a greater resistance to weed growth than others. Weeds also differ in their competitive abilities, and can vary according to conditions and the time of year. If you are having a weed issue in your yard or simply would like one of our experienced designers to take a look, click here or call us at 407-935-9151.