Technically, weeds are no different from any other garden plant; they’re just plants we’ve collectively decided that we’d rather do without. However, if there’s one thing all weeds have in common, it’s persistence: getting rid of them is rarely as simple as telling them to buzz off. Fortunately, no weed problem is too severe to get under control with the right measures. Here’s a quick guide to controlling weeds in your garden beds and lawn here in Edmonton.
Controlling Tough Weeds in Garden Beds
The whole point of our garden beds is to show off our flowers, shrubs, and veggies””but weeds are always looking to take center stage. Luckily, it’s never too late to get ahead of those pesky plants! Here’s how to kill them””permanently!
Hand-pulling lets you “start over” with preventive measures without the use of chemicals. Since you’ll want to pull out as much of the weeds’ roots as possible (especially taproots, like dandelions), the best time to do this is the day after a heavy rain. The soil will still be damp, which leads to easier removal, but it should no longer be too wet to walk on. (Walking on wet soil creates compaction, which leads to””you guessed it””more weeds!)
Mulch is a gardener’s best friend for a multitude of reasons, one being its effectiveness at suppressing weeds! Ideally, you’ll want to apply at least 2 inches of mulch over areas that have already been thoroughly weeded. The mulch will prevent the weeds from absorbing sunlight and prevent weed seeds from germinating. Mulch will need to be topped-up regularly to continue to benefit your garden.
Landscaping fabric is a great solution for beds that are severely impacted by mature weeds. If used properly, you can use landscaping fabric to kill weeds for the long haul. First, remove as many of the weeds as possible from the garden bed. Then, cut your landscaping fabric as needed to cover the weedy areas while allowing your desirable plants to poke through. Cover with stone to conceal the look of the fabric and keep it in place.
The fabric will choke them out and prevent most new ones from germinating and growing. Landscaping fabric will need to be replaced every few years (and sometimes more often) as it will eventually break down. Weeds may also start to grow on top of the fabric as the layer of organic matter above it deteriorates.
Herbicides are what most people use to kill very tough weeds permanently, but it’s critically important to choose the correct herbicide and to follow the instructions to the letter. Herbicides are selective, which means they’re formulated to kill specific weeds. This means you’ll need to identify the exact varieties you’re aiming to kill before you purchase your herbicide””don’t be shy to bring a few cuttings in a sealed plastic bag with you for some help!
Controlling Tough Weeds in Your Lawn
A lush, pristine lawn makes such a difference for your home’s curb appeal and the beauty of your yard. Weed problems in your lawn can be an aggravating setback, but there’s plenty you can do to fight them. Here’s what you need to know to kill them permanently.
Lawn care regimens are actually your first defence. A lawn that is regularly aerated, fertilized, and overseeded will encourage a thick carpet of grass, which prevents weeds from taking hold and spreading. Once your weeds are under control, keeping up with your lawn care is the best way to keep them that way!
Hand-pulling, naturally, is your next plan of attack. Weeds are bound to take hold from time to time, but pulling them out regularly and early will help keep a minor weed problem from becoming a full-on takeover. It’s most important to remove them before they go to seed; once the weed starts releasing seeds, the problem will inevitably get worse, and they will be harder to kill.
Pre-emergent herbicides are perfect for lawns that are prone to seasonal weed problems. These are applied in early spring before the grass starts growing actively, and they work by preventing overwintered weed seeds from germinating. While it’s too late to apply them in the middle of the season, remembering to apply a pre-emergent next year will help make your weed problem infinitely more manageable as the season progresses.
Post-emergent herbicides are probably what you think of when you think of the word “herbicide,” typically a spray-on liquid formula that targets specific weeds that tend to take over your lawn. Just like you would for a garden bed herbicide, choosing the right formula and applying it correctly is paramount to success with these products. If you want to kill them permanently without doing damage to the other plants in your yard, don’t forget to purchase a sprayer tool. These will make your applications easy and precise. You’ll also want to make sure you’re equipped with protective clothing and eyewear whenever you spray.
Whatever weeds you need to whack, we’ve got you covered! Visit one of our locations in Sherwood Park or St. Albert to chat with us; we can help you take control of the toughest weeds in your landscape.