What Kills Weeds Permanently? Let’s be honest, if you have a lawn and garden you probably hate weeds. The problem is that weeds can be difficult to kill and prevent if you don’t take the necessary steps. We share with you some tried-and-true tips and advice to help you eradicate weeds for good.
Intro | What Kills Weeds Permanently?
Many people enjoy gardening, but it can be a tedious task. From getting the soil just right, to watering and removing stubborn weeds there are many factors that can wreak havoc on your garden. Finding a solution for what kills weeds permanently will make gardening much easier.
It’s not just gardeners fighting a battle against weeds. These pesky wild plants can sprout up just about anywhere – driveways, sidewalks, patios, etc. Weeds can make a lawn look unsightly and they hinder the growth of other desirable plants.
If left untreated, weeds can quickly take over trees and even buildings. Particularly tough weeds could even cause damage to pavement as they sprout through cracks. To get to the root of what kills weeds permanently, we need to know more about the plant itself.
Types of Weeds
Any plant that grows wild and is undesirable is considered a weed. There are two types of plants which weeds fall under – perennials and annuals. Perennial plants typically grow back year after year. You may have cut them down with a lawn trimmer or pulled them up with a rake, but they’ll continue to grow back unless you dig them up from the roots. Many types of perennial plants produce flowers and have broad-leaf characteristics such as dandelions, ground ivy, white clover, thistle and slender speedwell.
Annuals are plants that have a life cycle of just one year; however, these plants can sow seeds for the following year. Their seeds are easily spread and can travel far and wide via the wind, animals, and even people as they get picked up and dropped off. Common types of annual weeds include : chickweed (Stellaria media), crabgrass (Digitaria), nettle (Urtica dioica), and purslane (Portulaca oleracea).
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Perennial plants are more difficult to kill than annuals on account of their root structures. They have larger roots that will eventually grow back unless they’re dug up entirely. Annuals are easier to kill at the surface, however due to their nature of spreading seeds you can still have a yard full of weeds the following year.
The first step in choosing the right product to kill weeds for good is identifying the weeds you have. This may require a little investigating by looking at the characteristics of the leaves and stems of the plant. Once you have identified the weeds you’re dealing with, choose a weed killer that lists the type of weed you want to eradicate.
Why Use a Weed Killer?
The fastest and least expensive route to ending any type of weed is to dig them up by hand. A garden tool such as a hoe or garden knife is helpful in effectively digging up the roots. The downfall with this method is it’s labor and time intensive. For small gardens or flower beds, removing a few weeds by hand may be sufficient.
Manually removing weeds may not completely eradicate your problem if the seeds have already been sown or you fail to remove all of the root structure. Perennial weeds have deep roots that can be especially difficult to remove and they can grow back and quickly spread through the roots that are left behind. There are also some types weeds you may not want to remove and shouldn’t remove by hand such as poison ivy. For particularly stubborn plants and covering a large area, the most effective and guaranteed way to kill weeds permanently is by using an herbicide product.
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Choose the Right Product
There are several factors at hand when it comes to tackling these pesky plants. Different types of weeds might require different forms of treatment. The location the weeds are will also play a factor in what kills weeds permanently. Many common types of weeds germinate in the early spring. The best time to start is before they sow their seeds.
For lawns and landscapes, including gardens, you want to look for selective herbicides. These are weed killers that are formulated to kill only weeds. Often times weeds occur in areas where other plants or grass is present. A selective herbicide will leave the surrounding grass and turf unharmed while getting to the root of the problem.
For perennial weeds that are already present in your lawn or garden as well as new seedlings, a good solution is a post-emergent herbicide. Post-emergent weed killers work on weeds by contact through the leaves and stem. Look for an all-in-one weed killer formula that targets a broad range of weed types such as IMAGE All-in-One Weed Killer. This is a selective herbicide that will kill just the weeds at the roots and the shoots without harming your lawn or the soil.
If you’re going to plant new vegetation or flowers, it’s not a bad idea to pretreat the area to kill any weeds that may be ‘sleeping’ in the soil. Seedlings from former weeds can stay dormant in soil for long periods of time before sprouting until the soil gets disrupted. Choose a pre-emergent selective herbicide that prevents weed seeds from coming up.
A total herbicide is one that kills any vegetation it comes into contact with. This weed killer is ideal on hard surfaces such as patios and driveways. When choosing an herbicide such as RoundUp be sure to read the label of active ingredients before using it, especially near your lawn or garden.
Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum post-emergent weed killer found in many total herbicides including RoundUp. It kills most weed plants such as perennials and grasses by working from the outside in. It becomes absorbed through the plant’s leaves and stem then spreads throughout. Another common ingredient found in total herbicides is Flazasulfuron, which works on annual and perennial weeds. This weed killer works as a pre-emergent and post-emergent on weeds.
Weed killers and herbicides come in various forms. If you’re looking to treat a smaller, targeted area such as a garden opting for a ready-to-use formula will be more convenient. For treating a broader range of area with many weeds, a more economical approach is a concentrated product. These will need to be diluted with water and mixed in a sprayer.
Learn more by reading our article : Best Weed Killer for Lawns
How to Prevent Weeds
The best way to get rid of weeds for good is prevention. This requires preparation and planning, but it will ultimately save you money and time on costly products that kill weeds permanently. Here are some guidelines for keeping weeds from coming and maintaining your lawn and garden.
Use Weed Barrier Fabric
You can find weed control fabric in home and gardening supply stores to keep weeds from sprouting. Use a thick layer fabric before laying out a new driveway, patio, or pathway to prevent the pesky sprouts from erupting through cracks. When mapping out a new garden, put down this fabric first to avoid having unwanted weeds competing with your precious plants.
Weed Control Sand
For existing driveways or block paving, paving sand can be used to keep the weeds out. Dansand Paving Sand has a weed killer added in to keep weeds from rooting in the joints of paving slabs and block paving.You use it after each time you clean the driveway or paving to prevent regrowth of weeds. Paving sand can also be applied to fill in soil where weeds have been removed by the root.
Weed & Feed Fertilizers
Specific fertilizer products such as weed and feed formulas are targeted at keeping lawns healthy. Weed and feed products typically contain a selective pre-emergent herbicide that prevents weeds from sprouting while also providing nutrients for your lawn. These products are best applied during the late spring and early summer when weeds are actively growing as well as early fall to keep lawns healthy. When treating your lawn with an herbicide, do not mow the lawn 2 days prior to application and wait 2 days after application before mowing again for maximum effectiveness.
The best way to control weeds from taking over is through regular lawn maintenance. Mow your lawn accordingly based on the grass growth rather than your calendar for the recommended grass height. Keep your lawn well fed and watered, supplementing rainfall with irrigation when needed. Keeping your lawn healthy will establish proper deep root growth necessary for your grass to resist pests and diseases.
Don’t let your soil go bare. Piles or patches of bare soil present a perfect opportunity for weeds to flourish. If you have a spot of bare soil or a large pile of dirt don’t just let it sit there. Spread the soil evenly, fill in holes or dips in the yard, or remove it. Plant something in those bald patches such as a hearty grass or plants that are suitable based on amount of sunlight the area receives.
For areas around trees or gardens use a mulch. Covering weeds and areas that are prone to new weed growth will inhibit sunlight and room for them to grow. A natural mulch consisting of cardboard or straw is ideal as it eventually breaks down and provides nutrition for the soil.
While it is nearly impossible to prevent weeds from popping up in your yard, there are many ways to kill weeds permanently and keep them under control. Follow proper garden and lawn care for a healthy-looking yard.