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Weeds: It’s time to get pulling


Weeds: It’s time to get pulling

published: July 20th, 2023 by in AIPCA Updates, Green Life, News & Events

Weeds are opportunists. Give them an inch and they will take a yard! (Pun intended.) They seem to be everywhere and the seeds are always left in the soil for the next season, especially with the abundance of rain and the warm/hot, muggy weather we have been having.

A weed is a plant that’s out of place. They compete with desirable plants for nutrients, water, light, and space. They usually are not attractive and are summer or winter season plants.

Ways to prevent weeds from invading a lawn or landscape are proper cultural practices such as “Right plant, right place.” A correct planting plan in your yard can have an adverse effect on weeds if done properly.

  1.  Know the proper mowing height for the type of grass you have and be sure you communicate this to your landscaper. Do not assume he/she knows the proper height. Most of the grass in this area is the older St Augustine and it is cut at 3-4 inches high. This height will help shade out weeds. Other types of grass are listed at https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/lawns/lawn-care/mowing-your-florida-lawn.html.
  2.  Another technique to use is mulch, mulch, mulch! Mulch prevents light from reaching weed seeds and impedes germination. It also helps keep the soil cool. Do not mulch to a depth of more than 3 inches because it will deprive the soil of oxygen. Mulch needs to be refreshed as it deteriorates and replenishes the soil. Mini small pine bark (#302 at Ace and Mini Nuggets at Lowe’s) is desirable as it is eye-appealing. Pine straw is also desirable, too.
  3.  Weed when weeding is good. An old saying is “Pull when wet, hoe when dry.” Pull easy and try to get all the roots and pieces of stems that can produce roots and begin growing again. Dollarweed is an example of this if a node on a stem is left in the ground. Florida is inundated by dollarweed, especially with all the rain we have had.
  4.  Enrich your soil with organic matter. Fewer weeds germinate in fresh soil that is replenished with good compost or organic matter.
  5.  Prevent weeds before they grow. Pre-emergence techniques are usually done in the fall to vegetables beds that are finished for the year. Spreading a pre-emergence product and following the directions properly will help prevent weeds. Spread a dark plastic tarp over the area to let the solar energy heat the earth and kill the weeds. This will “cook” the weeds over the winter so planting can begin in the spring.

A few good practices as listed above will help your yard look better with fewer weeds. However, weeds are usually in the ground all the time but planting the yard properly will cut down on weeds.

Credit: https://ifas.ufl.edu/ Search “weeds”. Vicki Cox, Nassau County Master Gardener