You know the saying – a weed is any plant in a place you don’t want it. Are you seeing grasses, dandelions, bindweed and even wild blackberry, popping up in your lawn, flower beds, vegetable gardens or other exposed spaces; even in teeny spaces between bricks on your patio? What’s a gardener to do with such a bounty of weeds?
- Get them while they’re young – weeds with tender leaves and less developed roots are easier to extract.
- Pull while the soil is still moist – as soil dries out it tightens its grip on roots. After rains have stopped, irrigate a day or two before you start pulling.
- Yank them out before they develops seeds – if you’ve got tall weeds and can’t pull them, use a string trimmer to cut them down before they flower.
- Get the whole thing, roots and all – grab the weed close to the ground and pull up, twisting the plant slightly as you remove it. Leaving even a portion of the roots is enough for them to regrow, especially those with deep taproots like dandelions, or the lengthy tenacious roots of bindweed.
- Use tools for difficult spaces – an old screwdriver can help pry out those nasty ones shooting up between pavers or in the cracks of a driveway. For areas blanketed with tiny weeds, try a stirrup hoe, also known as a hula hoe. Push and pull the hoe just under the soil surface to loosen weeds for easy removal.
Here’s more information on how to control weeds in your garden.