Weeds are a problem every homeowner faces. They're tenacious, fast-growing and unsightly more often than not. Everyone seems to have their favorite method for dealing with weeds, some more effective than others and there is no one-size- fits-all solution. In this post, we're going to explore some options for weed control.
Weeds popping up in your beds is frustrating. One of the best options here is to just pull them when you see them, but this requires diligence and a time commitment a lot of people just can't make. A drawback of this method is that if you don't watch it, the number of weeds can make it seem like an insurmountable task. A solution to that is hiring a service to weed your beds for you. A lot of landscaping/lawn maintenance companies offer this service, including our sister company Superior Lawn Care and Snow Removal.
Another common option is a contact weed killer like Round-Up or Ortho Groundclear. These products kill weeds on contact, so it's a much less labor intensive option. There's a common misconception that the chemicals remain in the soil or run off into groundwater, but in these kinds of herbicides the chemicals break down too quickly to cause any problems for you or the environment. However, like the previous method, this has drawbacks. Since it kills foliage on contact any kind of splash can cause collateral damage to plants you didn't mean to spray. These methods also won't prevent new weeds from growing out of the seed already present in the soil.
Prevention of weeds is key. One of the easiest and low-tech ways to prevent weeds in your beds is to put down a physical barrier like landscape fabric and mulch. The fabric will allow water and nutrients to reach the soil, but prevents light. The fabric will also physically stop the weeds from growing through it. The mulch will help the soil retain water, release nutrients and extend the life of the fabric (not to mention the bare fabric isn't very eye-pleasing) It needs to be replaced every five years or so, which is usually done when the mulch is changed out or refreshed.
Another weed prevention method is to apply a product like Preen Weed Preventer. This can be used with landscape fabric and mulch to prevent weeds from ever germinating, as well as with a contact weed killer.
Weeds in the lawn are a bit trickier since broad-spectrum contact weedkillers like Roundup and Ortho Groundclear will kill your grass. Different kinds of weeds, such as crabgrass, tend to inhabit lawns as well.
A very simple way to prevent your lawn from getting weeds in the first place is just to take good care of it. A healthy lawn will be lush and thick, and weeds won't be able to get a foothold. One way to do this is to regularly fertilize your lawn. Keep in mind that consumer grade fertilizers and lawn foods that you can buy at a home improvement store aren't likely to work as well as a fertilizer applied by a licensed technician, so we recommend using hiring a service for this.
Most comprehensive fertilization programs will offer several different treatments throughout the year timed to have the greatest impact. Weed treatments are usually included in the first half of the year for grub control and crabgrass retention.
Our sister company, Superior Lawn Care and Snow Removal offers an organic pollinator-safe fertilizer solution with a "pre-emergent" crabgrass treatment.
There are a ton of different kinds of weeds, and no one thing is going to kill them all. If you're interested in identifying the kind of weeds you have and where to get some of the products to take care of them, check out this page on Preen's website http://www.preen.com/weeds/mi Keep in mind this only lists Preen brand products but it's a good place to start!
If you'd like any more information or have any questions, Contact Us!