No matter how neat and content your garden is, anywhere with favorable growth conditions can potentially lead to weed infestation. Compared to crops and desired blooming plants, weeds can be quite sturdy and sometimes really difficult to get rid of. Weeds vary in terms of hardiness; some are easily manageable while certain species are die-hard and you’ll need extra applications and methods to keep them completely at bay.
Knowledge of weed control is a must-know for gardeners, newbie or pro be they. If you’re interested in agriculture or simply interested in growing your own greens, you shall learn a few basics and you’re good to go!
Here’s a fine list of everything you’d want to know about weeds and proper ways of defeating them.
1. Identify the Weed.
Before getting the job started, do your research. It’s for your own good; you’d better know if whatever you’re dealing with is a dangerous or sturdy species, and if you should be handling it at all. Some weeds are habitats for certain animals, thus destroying them might lead to unintentional harm to the nature.
2. Learn How Plants Spread.
Weeds differ in terms of eradication methods; and you’d better get your information to control currently present weeds adequately.
- Most weeds are spread by seeds; this means you’ll have to destroy them before they bloom and produce seeds.
- Some species are runners, which means their underground stems spread all over the area. For this types you should cut off pathways and pull the segments out to prevent root development.
- Troublemaker are those weeds with deep roots. No matter how deep you dig the root, even the tiniest fragment of root left in the earth will lead to re-germination. They might be hard to defeat but that’s why herbicides are made for!
3. Protect your skin and clothing.
Weeds aside, you must ALWAYS use protection when working in the garden. Numerous harmful factors including sunlight, insects, rough earth and poisonous plants bring you the urge to dress properly and use your gloves.
When it comes to weeds, keep in mind that not all of them are harmless unwanted plants you just have to pluck away and throw out. Some species, ivy for instance, contain irritating substances which might lead to skin conditions or worse, allergic reactions.
4. Use Proper Tools.
Weeds can be quite tough against plain pulling and we strongly recommend you to always use tools regarding the species. Weeding tools are diverse based on different types of plants; see which one suits your situation best.
Common tool found and used in almost every garden, is the shim. You can dig up the roots, weed bush itself and discard it with little effort. This will work for most weed species, however if what you’re dealing with is more like a tall, dense bush and not the regular weakling that just appears to be there, it’s wise to use a shear to cut off majority of foliage. Next, you can dig the roots up with a shovel and make sure nothing remains.
Flame-weeders are also another popular weeding instrument, but it’s more of use for pavements and sidewalk weeds and not recommended for backyards and gardens. If you notice unwanted weeds growing in between concrete cracks and want to tidy up the image, flame weeder can do wonders at elimination.
5. Weed after it rains.
Sometimes it gets harder to pull out weeds out of dry soil; this is especially true for weeds with annoyingly deep and hardy roots or runners. If that’s the condition, keep the weeding after a good rainfall. However, you don’t need to wait for water to rain from heavens! Go ahead and pour some water over the spot you’re planning to weed at, and moistened soil will ease up your work.
6. Smother Them.
Sometimes plucking out weeds manually is way too time consuming due to extensive weed spread, and using herbicides is not much of an option whatever reason. We’re not trying to let you down. There’s absolutely a route to defeat this issue: Smother them down! As the title suggests, this consists of preventing weeds from receiving light, water and oxygen. All you need to do is to cover the earth with layers of thick, dark plastic and hold them in place with a bunch of weights and bricks.
7. Don’t Stop There.
So you’ve plucked the weeds out. Never throw deposit foliage onto the ground just like that, or all of your attempt at weeding would be in vain. Weed fragments may regrow into full plants before you even realize it, and it’ll be another problem of its own to be dealt with. You have multiple solutions to get rid of pulled weeds. You can burn the weeds or put them in a trash bag and carefully discard.
Having no weeds in sight does NOT mean the risk of weeds invading your space is eradicated. As experts recommend, weeds should be treated in time before they’re way too difficult to eliminate and bear with. After you pull the weeds out and there’s no more left in sight, consider applying an effective herbicide or smothering material to prevent further re-germination.