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How to Protect the Yard from Weeds

The battle with weed happens every summer. It’s inevitable. At some point, you will have to stop ignoring the unsightly plants growing in sidewalk cracks and begin destroying them. Even if you had little luck in the past, there is no time like the present to take control back!

garden-weeds

#1. Stick to a Schedule

The most difficult part of protecting your yard is sticking to a schedule. Weeds don’t take a day off, but you can if you stay dedicated to your plan. If you have a larger yard, it can be helpful to section off areas into different days.

If you are in your first year, you may be tempted to underestimate the power of weeds. When making your schedule stay realistic. Stick with mowing your lawn if you don’t think you can keep pesky plants out. Be honest with yourself or your garden will be for nothing.

#2. Mulch

It is not enough to apply mulch once and forget about it. The sun has a tendency to dry the shredded wood, so mulch must be re-applied every so often during the summer. We like to keep our mulch 2 inches thick at all times. 3 inches max. This includes outdoor potted plants, too.

Organic mulch typically houses tons of insects that love to eat the seeds of weed. Additionally, this material keeps the soil covered. That means any weed seeds underneath the mulch won’t receive the sunlight they need to sprout. You can also use dried grass. Just avoid hay!

#3. In-organic Sun Block

Besides mulch, there are a few other ways you can deprive weeds from their sun supply. We have used newspapers, shower curtains, fabric, and trash bags underneath our mulch to multiply the sun protection. In fact, you can use about anything you want unless you are growing edibles.

trash-bag-weeds

Newspapers are biodegradable, so they are the best option if you have them. These work best when they are layered with mulch. This not only helps them block oxygen and sun at all levels, it also helps them break down evenly.

When you use items that don’t disintegrate, be careful. They should be placed in areas that are not dug up often, such as underneath trees or bushes. Once again, place a layer of mulch above the material on the soil.

#4. Leave the Soil Be

When we think about how to protect the yard from weeds, we don’t often imagine doing less. That is exactly what this step is asking from you. Instead of using tillers to mine your garden soil, use your hands. Try not to disturb more soil aka weed seeds than necessary.

If you are extremely set on reducing weeds, we have some work for you! It involves leaving the soil alone, so you don’t have to worry about bringing seeds to the surface. Instead of tilling, simply put down a layer of compost and plant in that. You can even use bagged topsoil.

#5. Pull at the Right Time

As silly as it may seem, there is a right time to pull weeds. That time is when the soil is drenched. You can try after a good watering by your hose, but the absolute best time is after a downpour. Weeds are much easier to get out of the ground when they can be coaxed nicely.

pull-weeds

To pull these annoying plants out of your yard, you will need gloves and a bin. Also think about bringing a fork outside. They work wonders for twisting and digging out the smaller pests. Taprooted systems, and larger weeds in general, will require a fishtail weeder to easily remove.

#6. Think of the Wood

The affect of plants on wood is not good, so pay special attention to the timber buildings in your yard. If you have a structure like a wooden garage, it is important to protect it from weeds. That goes double for the vine variety. The tendrils have the ability to wedge themselves between logs.

If you have flora that is touching the wood of your structure, cut it back. Plants are basically made of water, and having that moisture constantly sitting on timber creates bad spots. This paves the way for insect infestations, mold, and mildew.

#7. Plant Close Together

The gardens that grow close together stay weed-less. Mass plantings and keeping greenery together result in the blockage of sunlight to the ground below. This shade keeps the seeds of weeds from getting enough warmth to sprout. Just do the math for recommended spacing.

#8. Cut off their Heads

Some people don’t want to take the time to do this, but it is highly effective. When you cut weeds off right below the ground, they die. To quicken the process, cover the beheaded stem with mulch to block the sun. Be the red queen of your garden, and cut off their heads!

#9. Herbicides

If you want to get ahead of the game, apply pre-emergent herbicide. This class of chemicals is great for preventing germination. That means you have to know when they sprout underground. The best way to figure this out is subtract 3 weeks from the date of the first weed you saw last year.

herbicides-weeds

To avoid the use of chemicals, you can make your own herbicidal soap. Simply mix vinegar, water, and dish soap. This combination is to be sprayed only on weeds. If you get it on your good plants, you will cause their death.

#10. Natural Solutions

When deciding how to protect the yard from weeds, consider natural solutions. Using these will not only make you feel good about yourself, they will actually help the environment. Before germination, apply corn gluten meal to the soil. Just make sure the plants you want are established.

To kill weeds, simply mix 3 household items: salt, vodka, and vinegar. Salt acts to dry the weeds out, vodka prevents them from uptaking nutrients, and vinegar is a natural plant killer. WARNING! DANGER! DO NOT GET NEAR PLANTS YOU WANT TO KEEP!

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