Weed control is about more than looks
Homeowners who are new to caring for their lawns sometimes overlook a few important steps. One common misconception is that weed control is a purely aesthetic choice – this couldn’t be further from the truth. Weeds cause all sorts of problems for your lawn, and if not taken care of quick enough they become much harder to deal with. Read on to learn about some of the reasons that weed control is such an important part of a healthy lawn plan.
What are weeds?
In order to battle weeds it is important that you first have an understanding of what they are. By definition any plant that grows in your lawn without being intentionally planted is a weed. Plants that are known to cause negative effects to other plants or compete for space and nutrients are also considered weeds, even if they have been planted deliberately.
Other common characteristics of invasive plants include rapid seed production, the ability to spread seeds and populate areas without assistance and the capability for buried seeds to survive over a long period of time.
Weeds are greedy
Weeds don’t play nicely with the other plants in your yard. When invasive plants are present in a lawn they compete with grass and other plants for space and nutrients. A healthy lawn has a better chance at survival in this case, but even the strongest lawn can become overtaken with weeds. Controlling these unwanted plants is necessary if you want a lawn that thrives.
There are many types of weeds that find their way into American lawns. Most weeds are capable of spreading in this way by self-distribution of seeds. Once these seeds find their way into your lawn, either through the wind or even on the fur of your pets or other animals that pass through your lawn, they begin their attack. Take a look at the number of seeds that are produced by some of America’s top weed threats:
Plant Seeds produced per plant
Giant foxtail 10,000
Annual bluegrass 2,000
Weeds as turf
In some areas where plants that most Americans would consider weeds are native they are planted as turfgrass. Bermudagrass is an example of this type of weed. When bermudagrass is the only type of grass found in a yard it can successfully act as turf, but if it creeps into a lawn where another type of grass seed has been planted it acts as an invasive species. Controlling weeds that can also act as turf can be tricky, especially since the rest of your grass may have an adverse reaction to many of the chemical treatments that are required for control.
In order to maintain a healthy lawn it is important that weed control tactics are taken as soon as the presence of these plants is noticed. There are many types of treatments for weeds, most of which involve the use of herbicides. These weed control chemicals can be tricky to navigate, it is very important that you use them exactly as directed when applying them yourself. A matter of days could make a huge difference in the effectiveness of these treatments, so make sure that you research the correct timing for the application of these chemicals.
Homeowners who are looking to keep their lawn healthy without the use of any chemicals will have a hard time controlling these pests, manual removal is required for each weed that is spotted. Unfortunately removing weeds by hand does not always stop the spread of their seeds, so herbicide use is recommended.