These microorganisms also help strengthen your plants against disease and pests. Healthy, biologically active soil has a highly diverse array of this microscopic life and can even help reduce the need for some insect and disease control products over time. A routinely used plant health care service that is focused on the biology of the soil health of the plant beds will have fewer weeds and better-performing plants.
First, it’s important to point out that weeds can be unrelenting and will continue to keep trying to come back. Though you may be looking to answer the question of how to prevent weeds from growing , there is no solution that will get rid of weeds forever.
Of course, you might be wondering what kills weeds but not plants in your flower beds? You may be worried about harming the plants that you love. Rest assured, at Master Lawn, we are utilizing specialized products, customized to your landscape beds and their specific needs.
For instance, if you are dealing with Monkey Grass, we have a specialized control product to address that. If you have Nutsedge creeping into your plant beds from the lawn, we can mix up a specialized product to handle that. Our technicians are trained to know what products to use, where to apply them, and when to apply them—as all of these details matter. Keep in mind that because different seasons produce different weeds, it’s important that products are rotated based on season, too.
It’s really a win all around. You get to take back your time while also having the best-looking plant beds in your neighborhood. It’s a wise choice that will pay off in more ways than one.
Enhancing the Health of Your Flower Beds.
Your landscaping adds a lot of beauty to your property and you likely appreciate them for their aesthetic appeal. That is until you start seeing weeds creep in. Weeds are an eyesore that can really detract from the overall look of your landscape beds.
But don’t lose hope just yet! A regular rotation of weed control products throughout the spring, summer, and fall can keep those pesky weeds at bay. We find that a lot of homeowners are aware that there are weed control products for the lawn but they don’t realize there are products that work for plant beds, too.
If you’re like a lot of homeowners, you might feel frustrated by the uncertainty of what to do about weeds in your landscaping.
At Master Lawn, our Landscaping Weed & Feed program includes a rotation of pre-emergent and post-emergent products in addition to the use of organic, pro-biotic soil additives in order to help improve your plants’ color, vigor, and root health.
Besides ultimately having healthier and more attractive landscaping beds, one of the biggest benefits of working with a professional is the ability to hand over the hassles, and the worries, associated with keeping your plant beds looking their best. You’re busy and the last thing you probably want to do on your free weekend is pull weeds. With a pro, you don’t have to worry about it. Plus, with the power of pro-biotic soil additives working their wonders, your plants will be looking better than ever.
So let’s talk about how to prevent weeds in flower beds so that you can get back to enjoying their beauty without having to commit your weekend to pull weeds.
In fact, many homeowners assume that there’s nothing more they can do to address weeds other than mulching their beds and hand-pulling any of the weeds that break through. While it’s certainly true that mulching will help suppress weeds, there are always those persistent ones that continue to emerge.
An effective approach to weed control in plant beds includes an ongoing rotation of pre-emergent products. Pre-emergent weed controls are ones that prevent weeds in the first place by inhibiting their seeds from germinating. In many cases, these products will take care of a large majority of your weeds. However, post-emergent controls can also be used to address any breakthrough that occurs.
Hand-pulling can be time consuming and fortunately, it is not your only option.
That means in addition to answering the question of how to prevent weeds in flower beds, this program will also enhance the overall health of the plants within those beds. The introduction of these microorganisms (like beneficial fungi and bacteria) will assist your plants in their ability to digest nutrients in the soil.
How to Stop Weeds from Growing in Mulch.
Do you want weed control for your plant beds that really works? Talk to one of our experts about adding a Landscaping Weed & Feed program so that you can become the master of your lawn.
Cast Your Worries Away.
You can get in-depth information on drip irrigation from the Irrigation and Green Industry Network in the “Where to Find It” section.
This Preemergence herbicide, made from corn gluten, is nontoxic. You can safely use it near all of your vegetables as well as around ornamental plants. Photo by Saxon Holt.
Think it’s an overstatement to call it the war against weeds? Here’s what you’re up against.
Lee Valley Tools Ltd. Box 1780 Ogdensburg, NY 13669-6780 800/871-8158 Telescoping Crack Weeder.
Weeds can’t survive without moisture. In areas with little or no summer rain, drip irrigation or soaker hoses help prevent weed seeds from sprouting by depriving them of water. These systems deliver water to the root zone of plants at the soil level. The soil surface and area surrounding the plants stays relatively dry. In contrast, overhead sprinkler systems spray water over the entire soil surface and supply both garden plants and weeds with water.
Apply Preemergence Herbicides.
Controlling weeds is a fight you can’t win entirely because they always grow back. But you can keep weeds under control by depriving new ones of the conditions they need to take root in the first place. Let’s look at how to prevent weeds from growing.
Too little fertilizer can lead to sparse lawn that loses the competition with weeds. Too much helps nurture certain weeds, notably annual bluegrass, Bermuda grass and crabgrass. Strike a balance by following the application rates on the package. And use a fertilizer with a high percentage of controlled-release nitrogen, such as sulfur-coated urea, ureaform or IBDU. These provide a slow, steady nutrient supply.
Left unattended, weeds will quickly fill in unplanted areas and any open ground around plants. Mulch spread over the soil surface blocks the sunlight most annual weeds need to take hold. Weeds that do sprout are easy to pull because soil beneath mulch remains loose and moist. Coarse chipped or shredded bark is a good choice for large areas between trees and shrubs because it decomposes slowly and doesn’t easily blow away. For paths, a thick layer of sawdust provides good weed suppression because it depletes nitrogen in the soil.
You can also use landscape fabrics to control weeds under decks and in pathways (spread over the excavated soil base before you add gravel or sand). A 3×50-ft. roll of landscape fabric, such as the Typar shown below, costs about $10. The fabric is also available in 36-in. die-cut circles (about $3 each) for installing at the base of trees.
Photo by Saxon Holt.
Mowing too low weakens turf by reducing the ability of a grass leaf to produce enough nutrients. It also lets light hit the soil surface, which helps crabgrass and goosegrass seeds sprout and grow. Check with your local extension service for the recommended range of mowing heights for your grass type. Then mow at the highest level—usually between 2 and 4 inches.
True Temper Hardware Box 8859 Camp Hill, PA 17011 800/393-1846 Scuffle hoe.
Any weeds that grow through mulch are easy to pull because the soil remains loose. Photo by Saxon Holt.
Raindrip Inc. 2250 Agate Ct. Simi Valley, CA 93065 www.raindrip.com 877/237-3747 Request the free “Drip Watering Made Easy” guide.
Irrigation & Green Industry Network 916C N. Formosa Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046 www.igin.com 323/878-0318.
Tips on how to keep weeds out of the garden, add the right amount of mulch over weeds, and 6 mistakes to avoid to keep your garden weed-free.
Yes, you can. Synthetic landscape fabrics provide a physical barrier to weeds yet allow air, water and nutrients through to plant roots. Spread the fabric over bare soil around trees and shrubs; overlap several inches of fabric at the seams. Anchor the material with U-shaped metal pins, then conceal it with 1 to 2 in. of mulch, such as stone or bark chips.
Spread Landscape fabric and cut it to fit around plants. Photo by Saxon Holt.
Preemergence herbicides, such as those containing oryzalin or trifluralin (look on the label for these chemicals), or nontoxic corn gluten meal, kill weeds just as they germinate and will not eradicate established weeds. For a preemergence herbicide to be effective, you must apply it to soil cleared of visible weeds; also, you have to water most of these herbicides into the soil.
Check the label to determine if it is safe for use around the kinds of landscape plants you have and effective against the weeds normally present.
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Frequent, light watering causes shallow roots and helps annual bluegrass, crabgrass, chickweed, sedges and other weed seeds germinate. If you water too little, the lawn suffers while spotted spurge, Bermuda grass, quackgrass and other weeds adapted to drier soil thrive. Instead, provide your lawn with infrequent, deep soakings. Lawns need about 1 inch of water per week. Set an empty tuna can on the lawn to determine when you have applied 1 inch of water.
Denman & Co. 401 W. Chapman Ave. Orange, CA 92866 714/639-8106 Ball weeder.
The frequency and timing of your fertilizing efforts are also crucial to healthy lawns. Both vary depending on your lawn type and the length of your growing season. Most northern lawns need only one or two applications of fertilizer annually—once in fall and sometimes a second time in spring. Southern grasses might require three feedings—early to mid-spring just after the grass greens up, early summer and again in early fall.
A single redroot pigweed is able to produce up to 30,000 seeds in a season. And those seeds can remain alive in the soil for 70 years waiting to sprout and overrun your perennial border at any time.
In the process of trying to eliminate weeds, people often make mistakes that lead to more weeds. Here are the most common:
(For those of you who already have weeds attacking your yard, read our article on How to Get Rid of Weeds.)
As with most types of prevention, discouraging weed seeds from sprouting requires some extra time now so you can save a lot of time later.
Pull up any weeds that are already growing in the area you want to mulch. Use a trowel to help you remove the roots of the weeds, which will decrease how many try to grow back.
Cut small “X” shapes into the weed barrier if you want to plant new plants in the area before laying the mulch. Dig a hole in each “X” shape and place one plant inside each hole.
Use several layers of old newspaper in place of black plastic weed barrier if you want a more environmentally friendly way to reduce weed growth through your mulch. Lay the newspaper down and cover with a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch. You’ll have to replace the newspaper and mulch more often, however, because the newspaper will biodegrade over time. Fabric weed barriers are another option, though they aren’t always as effective as plastic in preventing weeds from growing.
Things You Will Need.
Black plastic weed barrier.
Apply a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch over the entire surface of the black plastic weed barrier. Spread the mulch over the edges of the weed barrier so the black plastic doesn’t show.
Weeds are the enemy of gardeners around the country. These pesky plants decrease the beauty of your yard and rob vital moisture and nutrients from your flowers, vegetables and lawn. Mulch helps minimize weeds but also retains more moisture and helps moderate the temperature of your soil. The trick to keeping weeds from growing through your mulch is to put a layer of weed barrier underneath.
Rake the area smooth and remove any old mulch, rocks or debris that could poke a hole in your weed barrier.
Spread a layer of black plastic weed barrier over the planting area. If you already have plants growing in the area, cut holes in the black plastic to fit over them.
Overlap the strips of black plastic weed barrier so weeds can’t sneak their way through the edges of the material.
Don’t use clear plastic weed barriers because they aren’t as effective as black plastic. Clear plastic lets more sunlight in, which can encourage weed growth. Don’t use plastic weed barriers around trees and shrubs because it prevents their roots from getting adequate water.