Keep up appearances — don’t let weeds take over

With the late-summer heat and humidity, it is often easy for gardeners to relax their normal gardening routines on maintenance of their flowerbeds and vegetable plots. But this is also a time when it’s easy for weeds to thrive while garden plants are lagging – so a bit of effort and attention now will make garden care easier for you this fall and even next spring.

We can all benefit by following a few simple guidelines for staying ahead of summer weed growth:

  • Stop the weeds before they start. Apply a pre-emergent garden weed control to stop new weed seeds from germinating. You will be amazed at the difference this product can make in your future weeding.
  • Pull ’em while they are still small. Young weeds are easier to pluck from the soil, and it is better to stop them from growing up and competing with your good plants for nutrients and moisture.
  • Spot-treat mature weeds with Weed & Grass Killer. It does not help to pull off the tops of larger weeds while leaving the roots in the ground. Better to spray them with weed & grass killer spray. If weeds are growing too close to desirable plants, you can make a shield from cardboard or a plastic milk jug with the bottom cut off – or apply the weed killer with a small paintbrush instead of spraying.
  • Pull ’em when the soil is moist. Go out and get those weeds right after watering or a summer rain, because that is when it is easiest to pull weeds from the soil.
  • Do just a little weeding at a time, if that suits you. You should not endanger your health by working in the summer sun and heat for too long, and you would be surprised how easy it is to stay ahead of weeds if you pull or spray a few each time you are in the garden.
  • Try not to stir up the soil too much. Disturbing the soil can bring new weed seeds to the surface and start the cycle all over again.
  • Apply another layer of mulch. Mulches will decompose and move around with the rains, leaving exposed soil where weed seeds will germinate. Rake over these areas or apply an additional layer of mulch where needed.

The bottom line is that your plants will be healthier, your yard will look better, and you’ll feel a greater sense of pride if you don’t let the weeds take over your garden!

Pulling lawn weeds by hand can be an overwhelming and usually futile job. The most effective way to remove existing weeds is to apply a postemergence herbicide.