Weeds aren’t only making the plants in your garden fight for water, they’re also taking nutrients and light away from them as well. Aggressive weeds, if left unchecked, can overrun a garden and destroy the plants and flowers you worked hard to grow and maintain.
Proper weed management can minimise the presence and impact of weeds on your property, create less work for you, and make weeding not feel so much like a repetitive chore.
Here are 6 of the biggest weeding mistakes to avoid that will help you control these unwanted garden annoyances and keep your garden or yard looking gorgeous all year-round.
Mistake #1: Not Knowing Plants from Weeds
Being able to discern the weeds from the plants in your garden will help you identify problem areas and form a strategy for getting them under control.
Identification is the first step: is the weed annual, perennial or biennial? Annuals can be controlled by cutting them to the ground before they start to seed. Perennials and a number of biennials on the other hand, will simply grow from roots if you do this. Learning how your weeds spread when they flower (by seed, sucker, runner, etc.) can help you to control them better as well.
Mistake #2: Not Using Herbicides Correctly
First rule of herbicide use: always read the label first. If it’s your first time experimenting with weed killer, you’ll find that there are a host of options beyond pre-emergents. Some weed killers are selective (only kill grass) while others only kill broadleaf weeds. Non-selective herbicide will kill anything it is sprayed on. Take the time to research the weeds plaguing your yard and find the appropriate herbicide.
Secondly, always use caution when using these chemicals — they can be toxic and very dangerous if not properly handled. Never spray them on a windy day and wear protective gloves and masks when spraying. If you don’t feel comfortable using dangerous chemicals, don’t be afraid to hire a professional to weed your garden or yard.
Mistake #3: Not Pulling Out the Entire Root
If you do not pull the weed out by its entire root, there is a good chance it will grow back. When manually weeding, make sure to dig deep and get the entire root out of the ground. Don’t leave any bits of the root behind — there are weeds that can grow back from just a few inches of root, so make sure to really get them out when you weed.
Mistake #4: Using the Wrong Tools
The tools you use for weeding can greatly affect your results. A weed whacker can do large amounts of work in a small amount of time, but you could be spreading seeds and cutting off part of weeds that need the whole root pulled up in order to not grow back. Other times, digging the whole plant up could spread seeds. This is when knowing your weeds comes in very handy.
Chickweed, lamb’s quarters, and purslane all need to be cut off at the soil line with a sharp hoe. These are the types where digging too deep can add to your weed troubles, so grab a pair of gloves, a hoe and get to work. Other weeds need to be dug up by their roots, as we said earlier, so a good sharp spade or hori hori are the best options so you don’t dig out too much and spread any seeds that could be in the soil.
Mistake #5: Waiting Too Long To Weed
Don’t wait too long to weed. If you do, you’ll have your work cut out for you. This is a classic mistake that anyone, seasoned or new to gardening, can make. The longer weeds are allowed to grow, the more they spread. Smaller weeds are easier to remove than their bigger counterparts. As soon as you spot them peeking out in your garden, give them a pull or a dig. You will save yourself time and effort if you give your plants a double take the next time you water or walk by.
Mistake #6: Forgetting the Mulch
Mulch is a time-tested way to help not only smother weeds and give them less places to seed, but it can also block sunlight which many weed seeds need to germinate. Use a colourful lot and you’ll be able to spot those pesky weeds fast and get them out before they can start to spread.
Losing the Battle Against Your Weeds?
There is a lot of free advice online on weeding your garden, but no advice will ever beat the effort of a professional. If you passed by a building or home and marveled at its gardens and landscaping, chances are a professional was involved.
The pros at The Garden Men are best placed to provide timely and dependable advice on how to landscape various spaces, as well as proactively maintain a facility through mowing, weeding, and mulching. We offer effective and reliable garden maintenance all-year-round.
Is weeding taking up too much of your precious free time? Need help with getting your garden under control? We are here to help! Contact The Garden Men by phone or online and get a free quote today!