Spring has arrived in New Jersey, giving us the opportunities to finally get out of the house and start prepping our yards for spring. During these uncertain times we are living in, our yards are our sanctuaries. Just because we live in the Garden State doesn’t mean we don’t have our fair share of weeds. Here are some tips to help you control the weeds in your yard.
To defeat your enemy you have to understand your enemy. Weeds don’t just appear out of nowhere. They have to come from a seed. Where do these seeds come from? Well, most of them come from weeds already established in your yard. At the end of their growing season, usually once in spring and once in fall, weeds release their seeds. The seeds settle under your grass and wait to germinate. In the spring these seeds will begin to grow in the summer, causing you a headache the rest of the year. In the fall the seeds lie in wait until warm temperatures coax them into germination. Now that you understand how the enemy operates it’s time to do something about it.
Your first line of defense will make all the difference to your war on weeds. Pre-emergent weed control is a tool every gardener should have in their arsenal. The best time to apply pre-emergent is before your grass starts to turn green. The pre-emergent coats the weed seeds and prevents them from sprouting. This allows your grass to thicken up and fill in bare spots that weeds would have taken over. Now that you’ve taken care of the spring weeds you won’t see your yard overrun this summer. Your job is now a lot easier.
When summer arrives your yard should be in good shape. However, it’s not unusual to find a few stray weeds pop up here and there. Weeds can be transported by wind or birds, so keeping every weed out is almost impossible. The important thing is to stay vigilant and attack when they show themselves. A targeted post-emergent weed killer is the best weapon for this job. Your mission now is to neutralize these weeds before they have a chance to deposit seeds in your yard. This will limit the number of seeds that will be ready to germinate again in the spring.
Weeds need two important things to germinate; sunlight and warm temperatures. By keeping your yard healthy your grass will naturally thicken up and block the sunlight from reaching the soil. It’s important to only water when necessary, usually 2-3 times per week is fine and that’s including rain showers. Water deeply to promote rapid root growth which will in turn thicken up your lawn. Water early in the day so your yard has a chance to dry up before nighttime temperatures put it at risk for fungus and disease.
In order to encourage a thick lawn you need to let it grow a little higher. Cool-season grasses should be cut at about 2 ½ inches. Keeping your grass taller allows for less sunlight to penetrate down to the weed seeds.
Mulch can work well to prevent weeds from crowding around your trees, shrubs, and flower beds. Not only does mulch retain moisture to benefit your plants but it blocks out that precious sunlight that weed seeds need to mount their attack.
Fighting weeds is a year-round battle. Take the hard work out of your hands and trust it to a lawn care professional. Here at Harvest Lawn Care, we offer premium lawn care services and other programs needed to keep your New Jersey lawn green and healthy all year.