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Weed control is an important topic, as we all want less maintenance for our landscapes. Maintenance free landscaping, although often requested by our clients, does not exist. There are two aspects of weed control, prevention and removal. It is easier to prevent a weed than it is to remove it. Weeds can be prevented both naturally and chemically.

Chemical pre-emergent herbicides are usually available in a granular form for easy application. Timing is critical, these products stop the seed from germination, thus, once the seed has sprouted, pre-emergents have no effect. These granular products are also water activated and you may need to water if nature doesn’t cooperate. Early spring is ideal for application. Apply as soon as the snow melts and before the soil temperatures reach 50 degrees. This is typically when the lilacs start to show flower buds in preparation for blooming. Pre-emergent herbicides are usually effective for about a month. You may re-apply then, or rely on removal methods. Follow the manufacturer’s application recommendations.

Natural weed prevention can be accomplished with mulches. The most common type is wood mulch. Mulches naturally prevent weeds by covering the soil with a dense enough blanket to block light, which prevents seed germination. Maintaining your mulch at a minimum three-inch depth will be adequate for weed control. Weed seeds can still blow in on top of the mulch, so a pre-emergent herbicide in combination with the mulch is the best weed prevention. Mulch helps build the soil with its slow decomposition. Mulch also aids in moisture retention and maintaining even soil temperatures. When applying a new layer of mulch, remember to rake the old mulch away from the bed edges so that the new mulch doesn’t end up in your lawn or on your concrete.

We at LandscapeGal are happy to provide a re-mulching service for you. Each situation is different, so please call for a no cost quote.

When you have not been successful in weed prevention, physical removal becomes necessary. Simply removing the weed is the best approach. Selective or non-selective herbicides may be used to kill the weed, however, physical removal is still necessary for aesthetics. If you do not remove the weeds before they set seeds, you will have a bigger weed problem next year.