Weeds are the scourge of homeowners everywhere and can affect the health and aesthetics of your yard and necessitate that you spend hours toiling to eradicate them. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your lawn stays weed-free without having to resort to harsh chemicals. Read on for three tips on how to keep weeds off your garden bed or lawn.
Preparation and spacing
Before planting new seedlings on your lawn, be sure to rigorously till the soil so as to uproot existing weed roots. This will also help to get rid of weed seeds in the soil and make the lawn less susceptible to weeds in the long run.
Next, you need to mind the spaces between your seedlings. Closely spacing your plants can help choke out emerging weeds by denying them light and nutrients. Consider planting in drifts of closely spaced plants instead of widely scattered seedlings that will likely leave ample spaces for weeds to sprout.
Your garden expert can provide spacing recommendations to help control weeds and ensure enough gaps between plants to prevent the onset of diseases. Plants such as bee balms and phlox are often a lot more vulnerable to foliar diseases, so be sure to space them properly to ensure your new lawn thrives.
Once your plants start taking hold, you can smother any weed growth by maintaining a thick layer of mulch. Mulch helps by keeping the soil cool and moist while shielding sprouting weeds from the sun. Mulch can also host crickets and beetles which can effectively seek out and devour weed seeds in the soil.
To ensure no light reaches underlying weeds, talk to your gardening expert about placing a layer of cardboard or biodegradable fabric on the topsoil and then spreading a thick layer of mulch over it. Be sure to replenish the mulch layer periodically and to keep it a few inches thick so as to effectively smother out weeds.
Proper lawn care
To help keep your lawn healthy, consider watering infrequently and deeply. Light, frequent watering can promote weed growth and deprive your lawn of sufficient water to grow. You should also avoid mowing the lawn too short, as that will prevent the plants from producing enough nutrients to sustain growth.
Low mowing also allows for too much sunlight to hit the soil, which can in turn promote weed growth and allow water in the soil to evaporate too quickly. Be sure to use fertilizer sparingly, as too much can help promote the growth of certain weeds such as crab grass and annual bluegrass.