Category Archives: Killing Weeds

Spring Yard Cleanup

spring yard cleanup

Spring means flowers blooming, bees buzzing, sun filled days, and family gatherings. It also means giving the house a good cleaning. Spring cleaning though is not just for the inside of the house. There is also the yard to consider. By scheduling time for spring yard cleanup, you will be assured a landscape that looks great, and adds curb appeal. Use these tips to get started.

Clean Up – It almost goes without saying, but it’s important to clean up the leaves, sticks and other debris that may have accumulated over the fall and/or winter seasons. If there is a lot of foliage scattered on your yard, sidewalks and driveways, use a leaf blower. In addition to giving your yard a neat and tidy appearance, removing debris makes it safer to use your lawn mower, and gives you a bird’s eye view of any damage caused by old man winter.

Pull Weeds – Grass and weeds are in constant battle for precious real estate in your yard. Probably the easiest way to kill weeds is to keep them from gaining a foothold. Use a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent weeds from germinating in planting beds and lawns. Once they’ve sprouted, pulling them by hand improves your odds of removing the entire root. It pays to remember that time is critical.

Prune – With the proper technique, pruning promotes good plant health, resulting in a vigorous burst of new growth. A good starting point is to remove dead, diseased or damaged stems as you see them; ideally before they push out new growth. You should additionally prune any weak growth. When pruning, always start at the top and work your way down, enhancing the health and beauty of your landscaping plants.

Add Color – Early spring is a rewarding time to plant trees, shrubs, and annuals. For an instant pop of color, consider planting flowering bulbs, such as daffodils and tulips. Seedlings can be planted in garden beds or popped into large pots. Remove plants that have died or are unhealthy. When deciding where to place a new plant, it’s important to consider the amount of sun it requires, as well as the space that’s needed.

Clean Outdoor Furniture – Warmer weather means more time spent outdoors – eating, relaxing, and entertaining. Make a point of cleaning your outdoor furniture regularly to prevent it from becoming weathered and faded by the elements. Nuts and bolts should be checked and tightened. Replace any furnishings that are unstable, torn or rotted. Clean paved surfaces and hardscapes.

Landscaping Tips to Maximize Curb Appeal

landscaping tips

You know that old adage about not judging a book by its cover? Well, in real estate, the cover is everything! In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, how your home looks from the outside can have significant influence on a potential buyers’ perception of its value. Even if you’re not thinking of selling anytime soon, taking the time to spruce up your curb appeal, starting with your front yard landscaping can go a long way in maximizing curb appeal.

Follow these landscaping tips to maximize curb appeal.

Add Hardscaping

It’s important to combine various hardscapes and softscape elements, materials, and techniques to create a cohesive design that is both beautiful and functional. Some examples of hardscapes are swimming pools, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, decks, gazebos, water features, paver patios, and retaining walls. Brick, stone, concrete, wood, and metal are just some of the materials that you may wish to include.

Use Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is a low-maintenance alternative and complement to grass. The fundamental element of a xeriscape design is water conservation. It gives a neat appearance with very little maintenance. It also allows you to integrate drought-tolerant plants, ground covers, mulch and turf areas to produce a beautiful, functional, and resource-conserving landscape design.

Create Privacy

The most visually appealing way to add some privacy to your yard is with a living privacy hedge. Evergreen shrubs, such as Italian Cypress or American Arborvitae, make the best plants for year-round screening from street traffic and neighbors. Other benefits include creating a sound barrier to reduce noise and acting a windbreak to protect against harsh winds.

Consider Lighting

Outdoor lighting adds both aesthetic and functional benefits to your home, such as making your beautifully planned and constructed landscape design visible, even after dark. One of the most practical options for exterior lighting is LED. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs can be six to seven times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, and last up to 50,000 hours depending on the application.

Heed the Weeds

If you notice weeds popping up in your yard, remove them. You can pull them by hand, buy a spray product to kill them (or make your own), or invest in a professional weed control service. With the weeds gone, your plants and other living horticultural elements won’t have to compete with them to receive the water and nutrients they need. Removing weeds will also extend the life of brick, stone, and cement pavers.

A Weed-Free Lawn

weed-free lawn

Think a weed-free lawn is the stuff of dreams? Think again! Although these pesky “plants” are aggressive enough to grow uninvited, and in all the wrong places, there are ways including growing a beautifully thick lawn to combat them. The following information is designed to help you have a weed-free lawn.

The right tools for the job

Invest in a sharp trowel or garden knife to help you slice into the soil to remove the toughest weeds. For deeply rooted and established weeds, use a spade or mattock to remove them once and for all. You will also want to invest in either a hoe or cultivator, and high-nutrient, organic mulch. Don’t forget a pair of heavy duty gloves for protecting your hands from irritants, spines, thrones, and other harmful things.

Weed when wet

The old saying “pull when wet; hoe when dry” is sound advice. Moist soil provides far better weeding conditions – especially when the goal is to pull the entire root system out. With the weekend forecasting rain showers, equip yourself with a pair of household gloves and a trash can or bag, and get to work on ridding your lawn of weeds. We recommend weeding a little every day or two so nothing gets missed.

Prevent weeds from returning

A single weed can produce hundreds to thousands of seeds, spreading them all over your yard! For this reason, it’s important to dislodge new seedlings with a hoe or cultivator, and pull weeds out by hand before they get a foothold in the soil. If possible, mulch immediately after weeding to prevent new seeds from reaching the soil, and to keep buried seeds from getting sunlight and sprouting.

Herbicides

When nothing else works, or your lawn is completely overrun by weeds, you can consider using herbicides. Follow directions to the letter. Used incorrectly, herbicides can kill grass, landscaping plants and other wanted greenery. If you’re planning to use an herbicide, choose one that is safe for your specific lawn, and effective against the most common types of weeds (e.g. crabgrass, dandelions, white clover, ground ivy, etc.).

How to Win the War Against Weeds

How to Win the War Against Weeds

Weeds are not benign – they metastasize. One seemingly small weed, can multiple into an army of angry invaders, which can quickly overpower the plants you are trying to grow. This is why keeping weeds at bay can be a battle! Weeds with strong root systems, such as crab grass and dandelions, can cause overcrowding and the depletion of nutrients. Nutrients that would have otherwise been available to your plants. Here are some natural ways for you to win the war against weeds.

Don’t Let Weeds Go to Seed – Period

A single weed can produce as many as 250,000 seeds! For this reason, it’s important to allow yourself plenty of time to stay on top of weeding, particularly if you want to avoid creating more work for yourself in the future. When a weed seeds the ground, a new weed can sprout in no time at all, or lay dormant for years. The less you disturb your soil, the more likely the seeds are to remain dormant.

Smother Weed Seeds with Natural Mulch

Natural mulch, such as shredded bark or wood chips, creates an overall better environment for your garden. A blanket of mulch inhibits weeds, reduces moisture evaporation, controls temperatures, deters erosion, and adds organic matter to the soil as it breaks down. Add 2 to 4 inches of mulch to the base of your tree and plants anytime during the year.

Weed When the Ground is Good and Wet

The old saying “Pull when wet; hoe when dry” is wise advice when facing down an angry troop of weeds. Moist soil provides far better weeding conditions than if the soil were dry. No rain? No problem! Simply drench the area using your standard-variety garden hose. Once the soil is moist, equip yourself with a pair of gloves and a trash bag, and get to work on pulling the weed’s entire root system out.

Join Forces with Natural Solutions

No time to pull weeds? Don’t want to turn to harsh herbicides and/or chemicals? There are a number of effective, natural, cost-effective products you can use. Many of which can be found in your kitchen. Among the most effective are corn-gluten based products, a mixture of apple cider vinegar, table salt and dishwashing detergent, a combination of baking soda and rock salt, and boiling hot water. Many of these products are effective at killing weeds, as well as nourishing the soil. Check out Pinterest for more ideas.

Weed Killing the Natural Way

weed killing the natural way

Weed killing the natural way, through one or a combination of the following methods, will save you from having to use harmful herbicides, which have the potential to not only hurt the environment, but to kill your landscaping plants over time as well.

  1. Pull Them…

Countless generations have set out to remove weeds by hand. Yet, for anyone who has actually tried this old-fashioned method, you know it’s not always an easy task to fulfill. But for weeds that exist in your containers and raised garden beds, it’s often the best way to go. While the soil is still moist from watering, pull slowly from the base of the weed, to successfully remove it.

  1. Boil Them…

One of the oldest tricks in the book for ridding your yard of weeds is…boiling water. It’s cheap, easy, environmentally friendly, and works! Simply boil some water, and carefully carry into your yard, where you’ll pour a steady stream of hot water on the crown of each unwanted weed. Use precaution during this method to avoid becoming burned yourself.

  1. Cornmeal Them…

Corn meal has long been used in the kitchen for solidifying liquids, and many gardeners have found it to be quite handy for killing off seedlings, and preventing weeds from rearing their ugly head again. It does a good job of fertilizing your yard as well. Cornmeal, however, is ineffective at killing already sprouted weeds.

  1. Mulch Them…

Mulching is a great technique for preventing weeds, as it makes it impossible for them to pop up in the first place. It’s environmentally friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and will save you from killing your back while pulling them up by their roots. Simply cover all of your garden beds’ bare areas with your choice of mulching materials.

  1. Vinegar Them…

While not nearly effective as other methods, vinegar is a good choice for a natural weed killer, as it evaporates quite quickly. When sprayed or brushed on, vinegar works to destroy any weeds, quickly putting an end to your pesky problem. This method is best used in the morning, when there’s little wind, to avoid killing nearby plants.