How to Safely Keep Your Yard Weed-Free
Every homeowner knows the importance of maintaining the appearance of their home. Most people spend their time and effort on the house’s interior, which is understandable, but the outer part of your home should receive the same attention, if not more, as it is the part everyone sees first.
Taking care of your yard is essential, not just for appearances, but to also create a space for you to set up a lounging area or a playing area for your kids. The number one enemy to your yard are weeds of all kinds, so you should make it a priority to tend to them. Here’s how you can safely remove weeds from your yard.
- Fertilize Appropriately
Fertilization is one of the major factors that can keep your yard weed-free if done. You need to find a balanced fertilizing program because too much can increase the chance of runoff and waste money. Too little fertilizer will give you a sparse yard, giving all kinds of weeds space and sunlight to grow. A great tip for fertilization is to apply granular fertilizer and pre-emergent herbicide in the early spring. In the early summer, apply fertilizer with weed & insect control. Don’t forget to fertilize as well in the early fall and late winter.
- Mulch and Smother Weeds
The most important tool in your arsenal against weeds is mulch since it provides long-term weed protection. Whether you’re growing vegetables, trees, perennials, or annual flowers, you should always add a thick layer of mulch around them. How does it work? The mulch around your plants acts as a shade for the soil and since the shade blocks the sunlight, the weed seeds can’t grow. Another benefit of putting mulch is it maintains soil moisture to keep flowers hydrated even during drought periods. There’s even long-lasting mulch if you have permanent plantings and these mulches can be shredded bark, wood chips, or pine needles.
- Mow the Grass Right
A neglected lawn is a perfect environment for weeds to grow. That’s why you should not only mow your lawn regularly, but you should also do it correctly without scalping it. You should remove only about one-third of the top of the grass. After a good mowing, use one of the sustainable weed killer formulas from SNS that are safe for both children and pets. A strong, glyphosate-free formula will work within 3 hours without putting your family’s health at risk. Remember that mowing too frequently weakens your grass and exposes the soil to weed seeds.
- Plant Cover Crops
Want to prevent weeds without any mulch or plant? A simple yet effective way to reduce weeds is by putting cover tops to work. Plant some competition for weeds that are germinating in your yard like cool-season cover crops such as ryegrass or clover. These cover crops will fight weeds for light, nutrients, and water, and act as a barrier against them. Clovers can be used to fill the spaces between raised beds to leave less room for weeds to grow. You can also plant buckwheat, known as a ‘smother crop’ as it can effectively crowd out weeds. Whether it’s buckwheat or cover plants in general, they are known to be great for soil building in addition to fighting off weeds.
- Water Smartly
A good way to combat weeds from the get-go is to implement a smart watering technique. Yards or lawns usually need only about one inch of water per week. Overwatering creates ideal breeding grounds for weeds. Whatever it is you have planted in the yard, water the plant itself, not all the soil in the garden bed. To make it easier, use a sprinkler system or soaker hoses to direct the water to the plant roots.
- Use the Right Tools
If you’re manually removing weeds, you need to have the right tools that take them out once and for all. Weeders and cultivators are widely used by yard-owners for their outstanding ability to remove even the most deeply-rooted, stubborn weeds. This tool can be used for seeding, loosening soil, and transplanting. Another great tool is the Japanese Hori Hori knife, which is a half knife, half a trowel with a sharp, serrated edge on one side. You can use it to dig holes for bulbs or trim small branches.
Now that you know how to safely keep your yard free of weeds, all you need to do is come up with efficient fertilizing and watering systems and get to work. Understanding when and how heavily you should water your plants as well as how often to fertilize your yard will go a long way in keeping your yard-weed free. It will also get you a healthy, lush yard that you can relax in after a long day and enjoy the fruits of your labor.