Basics for getting your backyard weed free and spring ready
With a chill in the air and frost on the ground, it may seem that tending to your lawn is counterproductive. However, if you have been looking out your windows or taken a close look at your yard lately, you may have noticed that clovers are thriving and other sprouts have started popping up. Before these nuisances gain the optimal conditions to proliferate, go ahead and get a head start on prepping your grass to minimize your to-do list and to maximize your time enjoying your outdoor spaces when it becomes nice outside.
Locate and Plan
If you remember back to the warmer months when it seemed that the landscape was plagued with unsightly and infinitely multiplying weeds, you will likely get a good sense of where many of these patches are located. Right now, it may also be easy to pinpoint the spots because of the new buds or the yellowish, dried leaves. Besides finding them within the grass, they will also be present in mulch and growing up through cracks in patios and walkways. Don’t forget accessible space under decks or around sheds — if they are left there, it is possible for their seeds to be spread to other, already treated areas.
Once you have committed to eradicating these eyesores, come up with a plan to take advantage of some of the milder days for removal. Besides giving your lawn some love, you will be getting good exercise and fresh air. There are two main methods for weed control and eradication – Manual Removal or Spot Treatments. No matter which you choose, know which pesky varieties you are dealing with and wear comfortable shoes since you will be doing a lot of walking, standing and bending. It will also be wise to bring a bag designated for collecting and discarding yard waste to minimize the work that you have to do afterwards.
Tugging and consequently leaving bare patches may seem a bit daunting, but the process can actually be quite soothing and gratifying. Besides removing the weed itself, you are now eliminating the possibility of seeds being spread by wind and other sources, which could give you more of a headache later on.
The first thing to have on hand for pulling is a pair of gardening gloves which will make it easier to grasp and pull tougher, larger weeds out by the roots (and keep your hands clean too). Removing the roots is imperative, as this halts any new growth. The ideal time to do this is after a rainy day since wet days create moist ground and optimal manual pulling conditions.
Complete removal will result in exposed areas. Cover these spaces with a plastic tarp or weed barrier, mulch, or even a layer of old, lingering leaves.
If pulling by hand is too tedious or not efficient to get the tough, deep rooted, heavily clustered weeds, you can choose to take advantage of weed killer. First, be aware of ideal temperatures for effectiveness of the solutions. If an over-the-counter pesticide is not your thing, look for an environmentally friendly vinegar-based herbicide or you can create your own. Use the proper spray instruments that enable you to directly target the spots, ensuring that you aren’t reaching your grass or other plants that you intend to keep. Keep in mind that reapplication may be necessary.
Post-treatment and removal, you may be looking at a less than stellar landscape. Just keep in mind that you will have to re-seed areas that may now be bare when the right time for seeding comes. Do not re-seed until you speak with your gardener or if embarking on a DIY project, know which grass you have, to avoid planting another variety that will likely create an eyesore or add more work after the fact.
Don’t Waste The Winter
The quiet, generally less busy, long wintertime is the perfect time to get going with your outdoor planning and preparing. For homeowners, having this backyard improvement information is good motivation to spend the time now. Proactivity will help ensure that your lawn is beautiful and lush once the spring comes. We promise that you will rejoice when you can focus more on setting up and enjoying your outdoor spaces, resting and relaxing, once the sun is strong and the weather is wonderful.