Vail Landscape Logic column: Weeds are a bumper crop
With the persistent rain during the past few weeks and now the sun warming us up, weeds are popping up everywhere. Not only are they an eyesore, but today’s weeds will turn into even more weeds tomorrow if they are not controlled now.
WHAT’S YOUR TOLERANCE LEVEL?
Determine the threshold you’re comfortable with when it comes to weeds. Complete eradication is often hard to come by, so decide what matters most to you and decide the amount of weeds you can tolerate when looking at your landscape. That will shape your action plan.
There are two basic methods of weed control: hand pulling and spraying them.
With the ground still moist from the rain, hand-pulling will get immediate results. Pulling becomes much easier when the ground is wet, and you should be able to remove the root of the weed. If you’re only pulling up the top part of the weed but leaving the roots in the ground, it’s going to grow back. At the end of the weed-pulling project, there’s great satisfaction in seeing the nicely cleaned bed areas and the big stack of weeds that are no longer in your yard.
Applying a weed-killer product is another alternative and is most effective when sprayed on small, newly emerging weeds. Trying to pull out short weeds often ends up with them breaking and leaving the root in the ground to regrow. Taller weeds that are sprayed will eventually turn brown and will still need to be pulled out and removed.
KNOW YOUR PRODUCT
Use the proper treatment on the right weed. Before applying any weed killer, read the label, pay attention to safety precautions and pollinator information and know the difference between the two basic types of products on the market.
• Selective weed killers treat only certain types of weeds but not other plants. You can spray some products on dandelions in the lawn, for example, and they will kill dandelions and similar broadleaf weeds without killing the grass.
• Non-selective weed killers will eradicate any green plant, so you wouldn’t want to apply these products on weeds growing in the lawn. These products will kill both the weeds and the grass.
When it comes to turf weeds especially, remember that a healthy lawn is your best defense against weeds. Lawns that are properly aerated, fertilized and maintained will ward off weeds. Get your lawn off to a great start early in the season and you will minimize your battle with turf weeds.
The earlier weeds are controlled, the better. Weeds that are allowed to mature and drop their seeds will create a new crop of weeds you will deal with all summer long. Now, get after the weeds!
Becky Garber is a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970-468-0340.