Weeds are some of the hardiest plants around. Ask any homeowner or gardener, and they’ll let you know just how hard it is to control weeds. They’re so good at cropping up and thriving in the unlikeliest of places.
Despite being short-lived, weeds manage to produce a high number of seeds per plant than grasses or other ornamental plants. That’s how they manage to spread so quickly.
Understanding why weeds grow where they grow can give you an extra advantage in managing this common problem.
The Most Vulnerable Areas for Weeds
From cracks in the sidewalk to that patch of grass under your shade tree, weeds seem to be able to grow anywhere. Weeds are opportunistic plants. They crop up in the spaces left by other plants. Their seeds can lay dormant in the soil for years, just waiting for the right conditions to germinate.
Unlike other plants, weed seeds aren’t picky about the “right conditions.” They can grow in dry or wet soil; they can grow in hard or loose soil; they can even survive without proper sunlight or moisture. Weeds can also take hold in areas where plants are struggling due to disease or invasive insects.
You’ll start to see weeds will take shape in some of the oddest places, like under a shady tree or along the edge of your driveway. Other plants simply can’t thrive or survive in these areas.
As for that crack in the sidewalk, well, that’s the perfect place for a weed to grow. Why? The warmth of the concrete. The sun’s heat raises the concrete’s temperature each day to quickens the germination process.
Defending Against Weeds
There are many ways to defend your lawn against invasive weeds, including both manual practices and chemical treatments.
Weed defense tip #1: Keep your lawn lush.
One of the best ways to keep weeds at bay is to maintain a thick, dense layer of grass. Weeds are poor performers in areas where other plants are well-established, so wherever plants are thick, weeds are unable to grow. Having a dense lawn means less room for weeds to try and germinate.
Weed defense tip #2: Don’t mow your lawn too short.
Another way to control weeds is by not mowing your lawn too short. Tall grass shades the ground underneath it, keeping the soil cool. Weeds are far less likely to grow in areas with short or scalped grass where the sun can reach the soil and encourage seed germination.
Weed defense tip #3: Fertilize regularly and water properly.
So how do you get that dense lawn we talked about? By caring for your grass, feeding it the right fertilizer at the right times, and giving it the right amount of water.
The amount of water your lawn needs varies significantly depending on what region you’re in: grass in Northeastern states need little irrigation, whereas the grass in Southwestern states can’t thrive without a good soak at least twice per week.
In general, however, it’s important to ensure that the water soaks into the soil by one to two inches to ensure a deep and healthy root system. But do your research. The more you know about your specific soil and grass, the more you can give it what it needs.
When All Else Fails, Turn to Herbicides
Even if you’re taking care of your lawn and it’s looking great, weeds can still crop up. Luckily, there are a number of eco-conscious herbicides available to help control and eradicate weeds in your lawn, and in other parts of your yard as well.
For example, 20% horticultural vinegar is derived from corn and it’s just as effective as chemical-based herbicides. Using vinegar is the best way to get rid of weeds in weird places. It’s a non-selective, contact herbicide, so it kills weeds and grass on contact.
If you’re searching for a lawn-safe weed killer, take a look at our selection of herbicides on Factory Direct Chemicals. We have everything you need to keep your property beautiful and free from invasive weeds.