Life always finds a way to flourish, but you may not appreciate its tenacity while you are trying to maintain your landscaping. If you feel like your yard is constantly being choked by weeds, you may not be approaching your problem with the right tool. There are a wide variety of weed control supplies on the market, including a broad spectrum of herbicides and physical tools that are all more or less effective depending on the situation. Rather than spraying herbicides haphazardly to solve your weed troubles, consider these more specific solutions to common landscaping woes.
Eliminating Invasive Weeds
Some plants thrive where others could not even survive, and they use this strength to aggressively choke out native species. Blackberries, poison ivy, kudzu and scotch broom can be found typically in areas that have been cleared and then allowed to grow wild again. Powerful herbicides applied over the course of several months are often the only way to truly eliminate noxious weeds, but physical methods such as hand removal or hiring the services of grazing goats have also been used when herbicides are not an option.
Preventing Weeds Sprouting Through Pavement
Sidewalks, driveways and walking paths all develop cracks over time, and plants will take advantage of any possible space to take root. You may be able to control weeds growing through pavement by periodically plucking them, but this is often easier said than done, since the roots will soon grow larger than the crack. When using herbicides on pavement, be mindful of the fact that some will inevitably run off and impact plants on either side of the walkway. Vinegar, boiling water and corn gluten meal are all less harmful to surrounding plants while still halting the germination of seeds under your pavement, but they may not offer the same efficiency.
Controlling Weeds in a Garden
Gardens are a unique scenario in that you probably do not want to douse your food with chemicals, and indiscreet herbicide application may kill your wanted plants as well. Physically weeding and laying down mulch are the best options for a garden. Black plastic mats, sold in most home and garden stores, make excellent walkways and block weed seedlings from the sun. You can lay down this mulch between vegetables as well for even more comprehensive coverage.
Maintaining a Lawn
Lawn owners all know the headache of keeping a uniformly grassy lawn, and a whole industry has sprung up centered solely on lawn maintenance as a result. Genetically modified grass can tolerate herbicides that weeds cannot, but it may promote herbicide resistance in the future. A broadleaf herbicide, which focuses on plant species that are not in the grass family, is the most common remedy. Clipping your lawn short regularly will also prevent weeds from getting the sunlight they need, discouraging their growth. Spot treating with a gallon sprayer is often the most effective way to treat your lawn without introducing excessive chemicals.