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Tips to Remove Pesky Weeds

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“Weeds, oh what glorious beautiful weeds!” –said no homeowner ever.

They appear from what seems like nowhere and after all the hard work that goes into caring for our yards, they are often the last thing we want to see sprouting up.

But as you get to know the type of weeds in your yard you can begin to understand the condition it is in. Weeds can indicate what your lawn needs to be healthy and naturally resistant to weeds, pests, and further problems.

Ironically, one of the culprits of an unhealthy lawn is the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. They restrict water flow and inhibit proper air circulation in soil. High nitrogen fertilizers disturb soil’s natural nutrition balance, increase turf growth, and accelerate the need to mow. Additionally, soil needs microorganisms, earthworms, and other insects to keep it happy and healthy; pesticides kill these much-needed friends.

By going pesticide free, you can improve your lawn and landscape by mimicking a natural ecosystem and allowing your lawn and garden to flourish organically. We hope you will take the pledge to go pesticide free and make a commitment to our health, environment, and ecosystem.

Read on to learn more about simple and effective ways to thwart and defeat weed growth—without nasty chemicals that affect our pets, kids, pollinators, and waterways.

Eliminating the Conditions That Promote Growth

  • Watering Deeply: Frequent and shallow watering encourages shallow root growth, which in turn affects your grass’s resiliency. The less resilient your lawn, the more prone to weeds it will be. Watering deeply and infrequently, about one-inch every week in the early morning, will promote deep root growth assisting in thicker healthier grass
  • Mow Height: Like all plants, weeds require sunlight to grow. When your lawn is mowed short, you are helping weeds grow. By mowing grass at 3 – 4 inches, grass develops deeper, more durable roots. It also grows and shades the soil, preventing weeds from receiving sunlight.
  • Aeration: A weed’s favorite place to grow is in compacted soil. So if your lawn is hard, compacted, and crowded with weeds, aeration will help promote air and water circulation. A good trick to know when it’s time for aeration is to grab a screwdriver, if it can’t be punched through the lawn easily, it’s time to aerate.

Get to Know Your Weeds

Beyond Pesticides has a great guide to teach you how to recognize the weeds in your lawn and the conditions that encourage their growth.

Read Your Weeds: Simple Guide

Conquer the Weeds You Have

Pulling weeds by hands is the best way to get ahead of those pesky weeds. The key to pulling weeds is all in the timing:

  • After a rainstorm: Weeding when the ground is wet makes the job much easier. Plan your weeding sessions after a rainstorm or watering.
  • While they’re young: Pulling younger weeds is easier because they have not yet established a sturdy root system.
  • Before weeds seed: Weeds will set seeds as they start to mature. Get to them before they do so. If you don’t have time to pull the whole plant, you can always cut off the head of the weed to keep them from blooming and setting seeds.
  • Take your time: That being said, it’s best to pull the entire weed, including its root.

Pledge to be Pesticide Free 

Here at SLCgreen we hope these tips on weed prevention and removal can help you maintain a healthy and pesticide free yard.

During this year’s growing season we will continue to post tips and tricks on when and how to prep your lawn and garden without the harmful use of pesticides and fertilizers.

We hope you will take the pledge and make a commitment to our health, environment, and ecosystems.

You will also get an attractive yard sign as a symbol of your commitment.  We expect it will also serve as an inspiration to others in your neighborhood to ask and learn more– and hopefully make their own Pesticide Free pledge.

We’ve compiled a guide with helpful to guidelines help you take the pledge with confidence!

Spread the word! Share this post on social media and use the hashtag #PesticideFreeSLC.

Laurie Mecham Pesticide Free Yard Photo

Talk to your friends and neighbors about how and why they can phase out pesticides!

And stay tuned for next week’s #PesticideFreeSLC tip

 

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mary eddy #

    Any thoughts on removing an invasive species with a white star shaped flower and bulb-typer root system that spreads baby bulbs??

    Someone told me this is known as “star of Bethlehem?”

    It’s invaded our neighborhood

    May 3, 2018
    • Hi Mary– great question! I have a lot of these popping up in my yard too. These plants come from a bulb, so ultimately, removing bulbs is the surest way to get rid of the plants. However, that’s hard. The easiest and least toxic solution is to keep cutting them off (hand-pulling, using a weed whacker, or mowing short). This will eventually starve the bulb after a few seasons. It doesn’t look like chemical options are very effective on this plant in any case. It is a short-lived, early season flowering plant, so, ultimately, you may want to view it as a sign of spring rather than just a weed!

      May 9, 2018
  2. Clover are not weeds. They add nitrogen to the soil, and are healthy in a lawn.

    May 9, 2018
    • We agree! Many lawn-traditionalists call them “weeds,” but we strive to make exactly the points you do. Thanks for following!

      May 9, 2018

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