How To Control Weeds

Weeds seem to have a nasty little way of marring our beautiful handiwork in the yard. Wouldn’t life be wonderful if all our hard work wasn’t sabotaged by these little nuisances.

To put a cap on how much of a foothold these devils can take in your yard this year, apply preemergent weed controls now and use postemergent methods later. Preemergent means to apply just before weeds germinate and show their ugly little heads. Postemergent means to stick it to them when they do arrive.

Today’s controls pose very little environmental threat because of the extensive treating these remedies undergo before they reach the garden center shelves. Just make certain you follow the directions exactly for correct application rates.

There are two general kinds of weeds. Leafy types are recognized by their broad leaves. These include the well known dandelion and chickweed. Grassy types are similar to the grasses we cultivate but are not welcome additions to the yard. Two easily recognized grassy type weeds include crabgrass and foxtail.

Right now is the best time to apply preemergent controls. It is the simplest way to control these plants. Preemergent controls are applied just before the plant seeds germinate and stop them from becoming full fledged weeds.

Even though you can’t see the weeds right now, you can be sure that if you had them last year, you will have them this year. And even if you were fortunate not to have any weeds in your yard, it’s a good bet you may have them this year because their seeds are easily transmitted by the wind and animals. Therefore, apply preemergent controls where weeds appeared last year, and where they might show up in the lawn or shrub beds again this year.

Preemergent herbicides come in either liquid or granular form. Liquid herbicides are diluted with water and then sprayed over the area. Granular preemergent controls are dispersed with either drop type or broadcast spreaders. Each kind has its own coverage requirements and the directions should be followed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations on the label.

Even if you thoroughly apply preemergent herbicides now, a few weeds are still bound to show their ugly little heads later this season. When that occurs, you need to apply postemergent herbicides which are designated as such on the label, or reapply preemergent. These also come in liquid and granular forms.

It is best to apply postemergent remedies while the plants are still young. The tissue of the plant is still tender and will absorb thew controls more quickly than when the plant is more mature and the tissue becomes tougher.

One postemergent method which is absolutely futile is to pick or dig dandelions. Those nuisances have roots up to two feet in length and when broken off grow right back.

Preemergent weed controls must be applied right now before weeds appear, but if a few survive this remedy, apply postemergent herbicides when they do show their ugly little heads.

article by Fred Hower

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