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WeedsYea right.  Unlike all the quick diet ads, we can make no such promise.  But here are a few tips from Autumn Hill Nursery to help eliminate weeds in your Woodstock, GA landscapes and keep them weed-free.

Hand-pulling

Getting to the root of the problem – literally. Unless you remove the crown and roots, weeds will grow right back.  Weeds will come out easier if you pull them while they are young (less roots), and when the soil is loosened by rain.  Grasp weeds at their base, and pull gently without jerking.  Do not put weeds in your compost pile as most likely it does not get hot enough to kill seeds. Try to pull weeds before they go to seed – think dandelion blowing in the breeze. One makes a million.

Mulch

Bare soil and sunlight is a haven for weeds.  Keep your beds heavily mulched.  For additional blockage you can use weed fabrics or newspapers beneath your mulch. Caution: weed fabric and newspapers can reduce moisture to your plants.  Water takes the path of least resistance.  If your beds slope, water may run off before it can soak into the soil thus starving nearby plants of moisture. When applying around plants, leave an area slightly larger than the dripline of the plant uncovered by fabric or papers. If you choose to use newspapers dampen them first so they don’t blow as easily while you’re covering them with mulch.

Chemical Treatments

Use pre-emergence to kill seeds before they germinate.  Keep in mind these are not organic products, and they are also nonselective.  Pre-emergence’s effectiveness will vary in time, most working from 3 to 6 months.  Plan ahead if you plan to sow any seeds in the area.  Some pre-emergences on the market are also soil sterilizers designed for sidewalk and driveway cracks. Do not use these in your beds as they can kill your existing plants. Pre-emergence can be applied at any time of the year but the optimum times are three times a year.  When are the best times? Think Super Bowl, Memorial Day and Halloween.

Post-emergences such a Round Up work through foliage contact and kill weeds while they are actively growing. Again, most are non-selective meaning they kill what they come in contact with.  Apply carefully, and don’t apply on windy days.  Post-emergences are available as both organic and chemical products; you can decide which is best for your situation.

Always read and follow the labels/application directions of any products you are using.

Nothing you do will make your beds 100% weed free, but by combining the above methods, you can significantly reduce the amount of weeds in your beds.

Img via Flickr.

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