One issue that makes the member of the family who is assigned to maintaining the lawn crazy is weeds. When weeds appear, they seem to be everywhere and when you think they’re gone, they sprout up again. The question becomes: How do you eliminate weeds once and for all?
Common weeds that attack your lawn include:
· Tall fescue
· Barnyard grass
· Fall Panicum
· Lamb’s quarters
· Wild proso millet
· Prickly lettuce
· Queen Anne’s lace (a.k.a. Wild carrot)
· Broadleaf plantain
· Canada Thistle
· Creeping Charlie
· Ground ivy (a.k.a. Creeping Charlie)
· Leafy Spurge
· Poison Ivy
· St. John’s wort
· Wood sorrel
· Yellow nutsedge
In some cases, you can spread some kind of substance to eradicate some kinds of weeds and you can use things found in your home to also do the job, but for some you may have to use some muscle power.
Weeds that can be removed with a substance include crabgrass. Weeds such as Dallisgrass, nimblewill, quackgrass, and tall fescue can be destroyed using chemicals including glyphosate and glufosinate-ammonium. However, the Environmental Protection Agency has labeled glyphosate as moderately toxic. Moreover, both chemicals require multiple applications during periods of active growth.
Muscle power is required to get rid of dandelions. There is a specialized tool that assists you in performing the chore. It’s a fork-like tool that allows the user to pull plants and taproots out by hand. There are some chemicals that can be used including 2,4-D, MCPP, and dicamba. However, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer considers these substances as possible human carcinogens. If you decide to use these herbicides anyway, then apply them in the fall, not the spring. Use granular products on wet grass and liquids on dry grass.
There are other alternatives you can use that you probably have in your home. These include:
· Newspaper. Cover the weeds with newspaper. This blocks out the sunlight and oxygen from reaching the soil. It is suggested that you lay out about 10-layers of newspaper and then cover it with about 1-inch to 2-inches of mulch. If weeds continue to grow in the mulch, make layers of newspaper and mulch like lasagna. The newspaper will ultimately decompose becoming a part of the mulch and help to nourish the soil.
· Old shower curtains and carpet samples. Instead of throwing out these items keep them so they can be used to eradicate weeds. Lay the item in garden paths and between rows of flowers and then cover with mulch.
· Corn gluten meal. A corn byproduct, gluten meal stops weed seeds from growing because it prevents germination. Spread the substance around established plants and after seeds sprout and transplanted vegetation have established itself in the soil.
· Vinegar. It contains acetic acid and can kill plant leaves. So take precautions and cover the plants you want to survive before spraying. Target the application by placing 2-liter plastic soda bottles with the bottoms removed over the weeds and spray the vinegar into the mouth of the bottle. This will prevent splash over that could kill plants you want to survive.
· Vodka. An ounce of vodka mixed with two cups of water and a couple of drops of dish soap can be applied to weeds to dry them out. This method is ideal for weeds that thrive in sunlight, but doesn’t work well on weeds that do better in shade. Take precautions to cover the flowers you want to survive because the vodka can dry them out too.
· Soap. Soap is ideal for eradicating weeds because in contains an oil that breaks down waxy or hairy weed surfaces. So a few drops of liquid dish detergent in vinegar or vodka sprayed on weeds keeps the solution on the weeds’ leaves.
· Boiling water. Simply boil some water then pour it on weeds. It will burn them up.