April showers bring May flowers. And weeds. We refer to plants we don’t want as weeds. They pop up in locations where they don’t belong. They compete with the plants we actually want for sunlight, water and nutrients. In other parts of your yard, weeds look unsightly and can become a nuisance.
Control Weeds Before They Germinate
Since weed seeds need the right combination of soil temperature, water and sunlight to germinate and grow, weed control begins by creating undesirable growing conditions.
For a variety of reasons, including health and groundwater protection, turn first to non-chemical options for weed control. Spread a layer of mulch over the soil, especially on vegetable gardens and flower beds to also add organic matter and slow soil evaporation. A layer of rock or bark will have the same effect of blocking sunlight.
Chemical treatments are typical for cost-effectively managing weeds in residential parks and common areas. ELS applies seasonal pre-emergence residual herbicides for long-lasting weed management. Some pre-emergence products are available to homeowners for residential use.
Eliminate Weeds After They Emerge
For the weeds that nevertheless emerge, you can purchase various post-emergence weed killer products. Or, simply hand-pull or hoe the young weeds before they flower and set a new seed cycle. Applying simple household staples, like white vinegar, diluted rubbing alcohol or boiling water, are also effective methods for killing weeds. Just be careful not to accidentally damage the plants you wish to keep. YouTube videos are a good source for further instructions.
Weed Control in Turf Areas
If you have a lawn, this means that the best prevention against weeds is keeping your turfgrass dense and healthy enough to choke out weeds. Be sure to mow your variety of turf to its recommended seasonal heights and frequencies. Maintain turf vigor with routine, seasonal fertilization, aeration, and infrequent, deep irrigation.
If you choose to apply a pre-emergence residual herbicide on turfgrass at home, late autumn and early spring are generally the best times of year in Central Arizona. But plan ahead, because there are two different types of pre-emergence herbicides available for residential lawns, each with a different mode of action. Select the correct type and then follow all package directions carefully.