With the mild climate of Southern California, we are blessed with a wide variety of plants that can grow year-round. However, that also means that pesky plants can make an appearance – some of the worst of these are weeds. If you are constantly pulling, spraying, or trying to destroy the weeds in your garden, it can take some of the fun out of enjoying your yard. Whether you are located in a mild climate like us, or you are elsewhere in the country, read on for four simple methods to prevent weeds growing in your garden!
4 Ways to Prevent Weeds Growing in Your Garden
Mulch, A Lot!
Weeds are most common in flower and garden beds. One of the top simple hacks to prevent weeds growing where you don’t want them is by using organic mulch. Wood chips, grass clippings, bark, and more, can be used in deep layers over the area. Mulch allows water to move through the soil, keeping it moist and cool yet blocking the light that gives those nasty weeds new life.
When you are doing your planting, you can take preventative measures against weed growth. If you layer the soil with newspaper, it blocks the sunlight from helping weeds germinate and grow while still allowing moisture to come through for healthy soil and plant roots. A few extra minutes during planting can save you hours of weeding! Plus, don’t buy new newspapers! You can do even more for your environment by utilizing old newspapers that you, your family, friends, or neighbors were going to throw away or recycle.
Sand Between Pavers
Weeds in between pavers or brick pathways are not only annoying but noticeable. To prevent these weeds without using a sealant, you can use water-activated polymeric joint sand. This sand mortars the seams between your pavers without requiring sealing! Doing this often takes professional experience or a highly experienced gardener, so we suggest reaching out to your landscaper for more information on whether this is a wise idea for your property design.
Remove the Roots
If you do have weeds, there is a proper way to remove them – from the root. Removing as much of the root as possible gives you the best chance to prevent regrowth. Usually, a firm pull at the base of the weed will do the trick. Keep in mind that tugging at the weeds will disrupt the top of the plant. If you already have seedlings, we suggest cutting off that head and putting it in your bucket before you start thrashing that thick weed around. For some prominent weeds, you may need gardening tools to fully remove the root system. If you can’t get the whole root out, at least be sure to chop off the head of the weed. This prevents the weed from reseeding and spreading in the future.
What causes weeds to grow?
Weeds are an opportunistic plant type that will grow anywhere there is room. Of all weeds, there are three types. First, you have annual weeds, which spread by setting seed, germinating, and growing for a single season to eventually die off. Second, you have biennial weeds which grow in a two-year cycle. Biennial weeds germinate their seeds the first year to produce a plant. In the second year, that plant then flowers and spreads the seeds to repeat the process. Lastly, you have perennial weeds. These weeds can grow season after season by setting seeds and/or establishing a root system. No matter which type of weed it is, they all have the same basic needs: water, sunlight, food, and space. If they have access to those, they can pop up everywhere!
Why are weeds so hard to get rid of?
There are four primary characteristics of weeds that make them incredibly hard to get rid of:
- Deep perennial roots
- Re-sprouting root
- Rapid germination seeds
- Quick growth
Essentially, if you cannot get all the way to the bottom of the root and pull it out successfully, it could regrow. Additionally, once they are grown they are quick to spread their seed and keep growing.
What to do if your yard is all weeds?
Whether you have neglected your lawn and it is now full of weeds, or you have bought a property that needs some serious work, a yard full of weeds typically indicates that you need to start from scratch. Otherwise, you will need to pull each and every weed out by hand and hope that you don’t get seeds everywhere. To start from scratch, you will need to identify your weed, spray it with a proper, environmentally friendly herbicide, and wait for up to a month for it to fully work. We suggest discussing an action plan with an experienced landscaper to see what will work best for your weeds, property type, climate, etc.
Why are there so many weeds this year?
As we said above, weeds (like any other plant) need a combination of sunlight, food, water, and space to grow. Combine that with mild temperatures, and you have a recipe for quick growth. A common reason why you are seeing an explosion in weed quantity is likely due to rain. That phrase “April showers bring May flowers,” also means that rain brings weeds too! Keep in mind that weeds grow quickly, with some plants being able to produce tens of thousands of seeds in a cycle. So, if you see weeds in your lawn, get them before they can get you!
Design Scapes – Making Your Garden Beautiful All Year Long
Do you hate weeding? Proper landscape design can help you create and maintain productive space that minimizes weeding. Give Design Scapes a call today to determine the best course of action to lower yard maintenance and get you on the right track to thoroughly enjoying your lovely yard.