• Silver and Gold Magazine

Why do I have so many weeds?


Are you wondering why your lawn and garden beds have so many weeds? Regardless of how much diluted vinegar you spray on them, there are underlaying reasons why you may be fighting a losing battle when it comes to weeds.

Pulled weeds, left a hole

Naturally, when you pull a weed out the lawn there is a big hole left where the weed and its roots were located. Then you shake the soil off the weed causing its seeds and tiny roots to fall back in the hole. This is essentially leaving perfect conditions for a tiny weed root or seed to grow back.

To pull weeds effectively, first cut the weed off with garden scissors or shears, then pull the root system out. Spray diluted vinegar in the hole, then cover back up with some soil or a patch of grass.

Too much water

We water our lawns and gardens too often, worrying they will dry out with the hot summer weather. We also have a tendency to water too late in the day, heating up the lawn and causing over half of your water to evaporate, while mould grows deep within.

Instead, remember grass is perennial, it will come back. It’s a type of ‘weed’ if you will – it does not need overwatering. Same goes for the rest of your garden: Water sparingly, there’s no need to drown it in water! If you have grass and plants appropriately picked for your garden conditions (sun, shade, partial, etc.) they will survive a couple of hot days without water. Most especially, water as early as you can in the day. Ideal times are between 4am and 8am, so if you don’t have an irrigation system installed and cannot change its settings, be sure to turn on the sprinkler even before having your morning coffee.

Too much fertilizer

There’s no need to fertilize your garden if your plants are doing fine. Also try and and avoid using too much of the “vitamin water spray” for plants. Once a month will do. Tilling and aerating gardens can also stimulate buried weed seeds and wake them up to germination. There really is no need to spend the money or time on aerating, grass knows what it’s doing.

Garden too bare

It could be that you have too many empty spaces in your garden, allowing for sun and rain to feed sleepy weeds. Many plants will grow well if spaced half the recommended distance. Nature works in wonderful ways, and there’s nothing it likes more than a bare spot to grow “something” on. A good alternative is also to plant a shallow spreading ground cover or fill with a small amount of natural mulch. Which brings us to the next point:

Too much mulch

Applying a thick layer of mulch can keep plants from spreading out and growing, and it can also overheat soil, causing water to be trapped and mould to grow quickly. Using less mulch will decrease the habitat for weed growth.

Bad landscape fabric

Using this cloth as a barrier doesn’t always work well to prevent weeds from popping up. There is also too much of it for sale at dollar stores, and the quality is not always good, as many weeds have strong roots that will punch through it. If there’s an area in your garden that you want to “just cover” so weeds won’t have a chance, use newspaper layers instead. This method is called “lasagna gardening” and it’s very effective: Simply cover with a few sheets of newspaper, wet so they will stay in place, and then add a layer of soil or mulch.•

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