Garden smarter, not harder

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For all of the green thumbs out there, June 13 is National Weed Your Garden Day. This is a time for all gardeners to set aside a few minutes to weed their gardens. By implementing this into a routine, the habit of doing a small amount of weeding more frequently will make it easier to maintain your growing greens.

The South Florida Plant Guide is the perfect resource for all of your planting needs. Below are a few tips and tricks to prevent and control those pesky weeds.

How to prevent weeds in the garden:

  • Mulch – This is the most common form of weed control. Mulch blocks light that weeds need. Be careful not to “bury” plants and trees. Too deep and too close to a plant’s base won’t allow it to dry out between waterings and let air roots breathe.
  • Groundcovers – Growing a thick layer of groundcover plants can choke out most weeds. You’ll have to hand-pull weeds until the new groundcover plants fill in the garden area.
  • Weed mat – This black landscape fabric lets air and water through, but not light. Buy from a nursery; box stores sell an inferior product that CAN let light through.
  • Pre-emergent – It won’t kill existing weeds, but instead forms a seal to prevent weed seeds from germinating; some act to neutralize weed seeds.

Ways to remove garden weeds:

  • Pull by hand – You may want to use a digging tool to try to get all the roots.
  • Herbicide sprayRoundup® is the most popular for killing weeds at the roots. Spray on the leaves and avoid getting any on your plants (though a little bit generally won’t hurt).

Weed control for lawns:

  • Mowing correctly can actually provide a measure of weed control. Mow the grass at a blade height that shades out low-growing weeds. Mow often to keep weeds from going to seed.
  • Keep your grass well-fertilized – weeds thrive (and grasses don’t) in dry, infertile soil.
  • Apply herbicides (post- and pre-emergent). Check with your plant nursery for the best ones to use. There are different herbicides for use in hot weather and in cooler months.
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