I saw another dandelion yesterday. That makes 123 for the year, and it’s April.
Spring brings out the best in Mother Nature, even if some of her personality rubs us the wrong way. Weeds, whether they are native or invasive, are, by definition, unwanted; if you want to train your yard to behave, you have to set down some ground rules.
Use a pre-emergent on the areas you want to preserve.
If you were on top of things, you would have put down a pre-emergent herbicide this spring, but not all of us have that kind of time, energy, or cash. Pre-emergent pesticides prevent the germinations of seeds by inhibiting a key growth enzyme. They work wonders on crabgrass and can go a long way to making sure established plants (read: the grass in your lawn) flourish.
Use broad-spectrum herbicides wisely.
Powerful broad-spectrum herbicides like RM43 can kill all plant life down to the bare ground for up to a year. However, it will kill lawns and should be used only in areas where no vegetation is desired. While perfect for spot-spraying tough weeds, fence lines, around garage and home perimeters, on dry-stacked patios, and along sidewalks and driveways, it can be overkill for areas that you’d actually like to replant sometime soon. Use according to label instructions, and spray carefully.
Give yourself a fresh start.
If want to replant an entire lawn, create a rich start for a weed-free garden, or make a flower bed out of a weed patch, use a chemical like RM18, which uses the same powerful ingredients as RM43, but at a lower percentage. Just remember: Products like RM18 stay with the plant; they do nothing to ungerminated seeds or and they break down upon soil contact. They’ll kill every plant they touch down to the root while still making the area available for replanting (wait one day for ornamentals, three days for fruits and vegetables). Learn more about RM18 here.
When in doubt, pull.
We always recommend pulling weeds by hand when asked how to kill weeds in garden. This is out of an overabundance of caution as well as a real desire to make sure you are getting the most of your crop. Using chemical weed killers around any plant you wish to keep is risky--even the slightest bit of overspray can damage the plants you’ve worked so hard to grow. To be safe, use mechanical methods: pull or cut weeds so they can’t rob your garden of water, sun, and resources.
Spring is upon us, but weeds won’t be for long. Happy planting from all of us at Ragan & Massey!