Are you looking for a good summer workout? Pulling weeds in your lawn and garden can really keep you hopping. I have talked with dozens of fellow gardeners over the last few weeks and they say they are working overtime to keep the weeds knocked down in the lawn and garden.
In the last few weeks we have had the perfect weather for plant growth. We have had beautifully sunny days at average temperatures with gentle breezes. The recent rains have been gentle soaking rains or heavy down pours. Both have been timed well to give the plants some natural irrigation.
Your lawn might benefit from early morning irrigation every day, but the rest of the landscape will do well with a weekly downpour. And as you might have noticed, the weeds love this weather too.
One way to stay ahead of the game, is to keep pulling. As you walk around the garden, pull the tiny weeds. Make sure you get the whole root before moving on. This will stop them from spreading more seeds or spreading more roots underground.
I like to take a 10-minute tour of the garden after dinner. Sometimes it stretches into a 60-minute tour. By taking 10 minutes a day to cruise around your landscape, you can snatch the little nuisance weeds before they take a firm foothold in your garden. Drop them into a bucket as you pull. Don’t toss them back into the yard or other area in the garden or they just might take root again.
Weed life cycle
All weeds aren’t created equal. Some are annuals, some are biennial, and some are perennial. Just like the other plants in our garden, the annuals finish their life cycles in one season, sprouting in the spring and dying after the first hard frost. Annual bluegrass is a common nuisance pest in your garden and lawn. Chickweed is also an annual. You can spot it by its tiny cluster of leaves and spreading roots. It is easy to pull, but not so easy to get ever little bit of the root system. Crabgrass is also an annual. It is best to get it out of the lawn before it starts to set seeds in the early spring.
Biennial weeds sprout in the spring and start spreading into the fall. You will see them almost double in size the second season and flower or send out seeds by the second fall season.
You are just stuck with perennial weeds year after year. Their roots spread underground and keep popping up each spring and stay with us even through the harsh winter. White clover is one of those perennials that gets into your turf. I have given up on this one and have started to embrace the pretty white flowers in my lawn. Creeping Charley, also known as ground ivy is another one of those perennials that shows up everywhere.
And of course, there is everyone’s favorite weed to hate … the dandelion. Pull out the long tap root before the yellow flower turns into a white seeded puff ball. That will help keep it from spreading around the yard. But still, there are the white puff balls in everyone else’s yard. Again, I have embraced the dandelion and now love them. (Just kidding.)