When you’re planning your dream landscape, the last thing that you want to worry about is weeds threatening the health of your plants. While weeds can be prevented before they even begin to grow if you take the proper precautions, sometimes they are already invading your property. Therefore, finding the proper form of removal can seem like a daunting task. Here’s your guide to Kill Weeds for Good plus Natural Vs. Chemical Weed Killer.
At Timberline Landscaping, we are experts in keeping your landscape protected from weeds. We’ve compiled some tips to help you understand how to prevent weeds from growing and kill weeds that already exist. Also, read on for information about natural and chemical weed killers.
Preventing the growth of weeds
If you don’t currently have weeds invading your landscape, there are many methods of action you can take to help ensure that new weed growth won’t infect your property. Here are some landscaping strategies that can prevent the growth of weeds:
- Drip irrigation
- We already know that drip irrigation can make your yard more efficient, but did you realize that part of that efficiency can be weed prevention? By only watering specific plants on a schedule instead of your entire landscape all at once, you can discourage the growth of weeds. Drip irrigation applies a small amount of water at a time in specific areas. This hinders the spreading of weeds and attracts fewer pests.
- Turf care
- Lawns that are healthy and strong will naturally not let weeds take over.
- Weeds need light and warm soil to survive. By placing a layer of two to three inches of mulch in your garden, it can block sunlight and prevent weeds from sprouting.
- Use foliage for shade
- Creating natural shade with plants can assist in weed growth prevention. Strategically placing your plants according to the shade they create can help make this possible.
Killing Existing Weeds
If you already have existing weeds, hope is not lost! There are many methods you can follow to kill your weeds and help prevent more from growing in the future.
- Take action early.
- No matter what form of weed killer you decide to use, it is important to act early when you start to see the growth of weeds. This will prevent even more weeds from growing over time. Pulling them after they have “gone to seed” will lead to further spreading.
- Cutting and digging
- Cutting your weeds down and digging them out of the ground can prevent more growth. The main objective should be digging the roots out of the soil. When you remove the roots, it becomes harder for the weeds to spread.
- Chemical or natural weed killer
- The best type of weed killer you should use is definitely up for debate. However, using a natural or chemical weed killer can help immensely in killing your weeds and preventing more growth. These weed killers will fight the weeds at their core – killing them all the way to their roots. Weed killers can also cover more ground, killing more weeds in a shorter amount of time. You can also consider using a combination of natural and chemical weed killers in your yard too.
Natural Vs. Chemical Weed Killer: Pros and Cons
Chemical Weed Killer
Herbicides, also known as chemical weed killers, are chemical mixtures used to kill and control weeds. They can be used in different forms, including:
- Non-Selective Herbicides
- Herbicides that do not discriminate the plant type they target.
- Selective Herbicides
- Only kill certain types of weeds but keep other plants, like grass,
- Pre-Emergent Herbicides
- Prevent weed growth by killing seeds before they emerge.
- Post-Emergent Herbicides
- Applied after weeds have already begun to grow, these herbicides attack adult weeds through absorption into the plant tissue.
Pros of chemical weed killers:
- Chemical weed killers are extremely effective in the killing of weeds.
- Because the formula for these weed killers is created for them to act quickly, they can be sprayed over large areas of land and will provide quick results.
- Chemical weed killers require less labor.
- You do not need to make the formula yourself, and you do not need to physically remove any weeds with this method.
- Chemical weed killers provide long-term weed control.
- The chemicals stay in the soil over time so it prevents new weeds from growing in the future.
Cons of chemical weed killers:
- Sometimes, chemical weed killers require a lot of research up front.
- You want to make sure that you are choosing the right type for your landscape (for example, selective vs. non-selective herbicides).
- Chemical weed killers can kill more plants than intended if you choose the wrong type.
- If you use a non-selective herbicide, you may accidentally kill surrounding plants along with the weeds.
- Future problems can occur.
- If you spray a pre-emergent in an area you want to plant, you may have issues with the new plants thriving.
Natural Weed Killers
For those who do not want to use chemical weed killers and prefer to use something more natural or homemade, there are many natural weed-killing alternatives you can use. Many homemade weed killers contain some sort of vinegar, salt, and/or soap ingredients.
Vinegar and salt are known as desiccants, meaning that when sprayed on the surface of a plant, it draws the moisture out of the leaves, killing the top growth. Soap is known as a surfactant, which means that it increases the spread of vinegar and salt onto the weed’s leaves. This helps it break down any waxy surfaces on the leaves that may be trying to protect it.
Pros of natural weed killers:
- When you use natural weed killers, you are avoiding the use of chemicals altogether.
- This is a more environmentally friendly method of weed prevention.
- Safety first.
- Natural weed killers are safe to keep in your house and will not harm humans or animals upon interaction.
- You have options.
- There are multitudes of recipes for natural weed killers, so they are accessible and affordable to make.
Cons of natural weed killers:
- Natural weed killers may not kill all of your weeds.
- Natural weed killers are only effective on small annual weeds, but if you have perennial weeds or larger weeds, chemical weed killers must be used.
- Possible waste.
- They require nearly 100 percent coverage of the plant to effectively kill the weed, using more product.
- Check the weather.
- Natural weed killers can be easily washed or blown away, so they must only be applied in conditions with no rain or wind.
While weeds can be pests, there are several ways to get rid of them for good! Whether you take action before weeds emerge or after they emerge, or choose to use chemical vs natural weed killers, there is an option that fits every lifestyle. Another way to decrease your pest infestation is with natural pest control. Timberline Landscaping is happy to help you protect your landscape and help you become weed free! Contact us today for a consultation.