I still remember from my childhood the first time my grandmother saw the lawn of our new home blooming with “beautiful yellow flowers”. I didn’t quite understand why my parents weren’t as impressed with the crop of dandelions that had popped up overnight. But after we spent most of that summer trying to eliminate them, I could see things a bit more from their perspective.
The lesson from this is that it doesn’t matter how nice a plant looks. If it’s growing in a place you don’t want it, it’s a weed. And it seems that no matter what kind of a lawn or garden you plant, weeds will always be a fact of life, and therefore, you’ll always need to do some weed control. There’s a reason for the old expression “growing like weeds”, and if you don’t want your yard to be taken over by these botanical invaders, here are a few weed control pointers to keep in mind.
Off With Their Heads
Ideally, it would be best to get every weed out, down to the roots, but that can be hard work and quite time-consuming. If you don’t have the time for a complete weeding, you can at least do the next best thing, and lop off their heads. Removing the flowering heads of weeds before they go to seed will go a long way toward keeping them from spreading more than they already have.
Mind The Gap
Weeds will do whatever they can to grow wherever you give them a chance. A simple form of weed control is simply to crowd them out. If you leave open spaces between your plants, the weeds will certainly take advantage of it. If you design your garden with closely spaced plants instead of loosely scattered patches, you’ll eliminate those gaps that the weeds would love to take up residency in. The shading that close plant spacing provides will also prevent the weeds from flourishing.
Smother Them In Mulch
Mulch provides numerous benefits for your garden, and weed control is certainly one of them. Mulch keeps the soil cool and damp, and it also blocks light that your weeds need to grow. If you use organic mulch, there may be an extra benefit too. Some insects enjoy living in the mulch, like crickets and beetles which love to gobble up the weed seeds in your soil!
Use The Drought To Your Advantage
They say there’s a silver lining to every cloud, though it’s hard to imagine anything redeeming about the drought we’ve been experiencing in the San Joaquin Valley. But you can water only the plants you want using drip hoses, rather than using sprinklers, which will water everything including the weeds you don’t want there. This will leave the weeds high and dry.
If weed control in your yard seems overwhelming, or if you feel you’re losing the battle to the weeds, it may be a good idea to contact a professional gardening service who knows just how to deal with the weeds in this area.