Protecting Your Yard From Weeds

Few things can ruin a yard quite like weeds. Not only are these undesirable plants rather ugly, but they also grow like… well, weeds. As troublesome as they might be, the tips below can keep these invaders out of your front (and back) lawn.

Get Them While They’re Young: While it’s understandable why people put off weeding their yards, doing this allows weeds to establish themselves on your property. And once that happens, evicting them can be rather difficult. Instead, try to remove weeds as soon as you see them start to sprout. You might be able to pull the entire plant out of the ground without much effort.

Block Out the Sun: Weeds can’t grow without sunlight, so it stands to reason that preventing the sun’s rays from reaching them will stymie their growth. Many gardeners accomplish this task by using landscape fabrics, which cover the spaces between flowers and other non-weed plants. If landscape fabric is not available, black plastic strips and old carpets can also do the trick.

Work the Soil: If other methods don’t work, you’ll need to get up close to weeds using gardening tools. The exact type of tool depends on the length of the weed; shorter-rooted weeds can be removed by using a garden hoe to cut their roots right below the surface. In contrast, weeds anchored by longer roots will require a garden knife, a dandelion digger or a hand weeder.

Prevent Breakouts: Weeds are nothing if not persistent, finding a way to pop up through cracks in patios, walkways and driveways. You can eliminate these stragglers by pouring a little bleach on them; after a couple days’ wait, they should be ripe for the picking. If you prefer not to use bleach, you can achieve the same result by using a solution consisting of one cup salt dissolved in two cups of hot water. Regardless of what you use, make sure not to get it on your good plants.

Off With Their Heads: Sometimes you just won’t be able to completely uproot invading weeds. In this case, a good Plan B is to chop off the head of the weed. While the weed will be able to regrow itself, you will be able to reduce the weed’s ability to spread its seeds across your yard.

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