BACK TO BASICS: HAND WEEDING TIPS
These days, innovation is the name of the game. Technological and scientific advances are being made every day. This trend has shifted our focus as consumers to look for the next best item that will make our lives easier, better, or more efficient. What if we are so focused on the new, we loose sight of the easier, simpler, healthier, more efficient ways of the past?
I’ve seen this trend spilling over into lawn care. This need for better innovation and more information provided by the internet may have taken over, but sometimes it can get in the way of common sense. Homeowners are focusing on finding the greatest, scientifically engineered, new product or application for their lawns, and they are ignoring the best techniques that have been employed for centuries.
Take, for instance, the removal of weeds from one’s lawn or plant and shrub beds. I have often stood with a homeowner over a patch of weeds in discussion about the most effective product for its removal. I am asked questions such as, how quickly will a product kill the weeds? Will the product harm my pets or children? How effective is the organic version? How organic is the “organic” product? How often will the product need to be applied until the lawn is clear of weeds? Will the weed die before seeds are spread?
|Most times, these questions are not even necessary. The best way to kill a weed is the same as it was 300 years ago: just pull it out. Use your own two hands to pull the plant and root out of the ground completely. It is effective,|
safe for your children and pets, completely organic, and provides instant gratification. The sooner it is pulled, the better chance you will have to avoid seeds spreading in the lawn.
Do you remember the dandelion removal fork tool that was common in the 60’s and 70’s? It’s still available and works great, doesn’t need gas and uses no chemicals. It’s a great project for kids and provides exercise for adults.
For lawns and plant beds with larger weed issues or homeowners with physical limitations, R&S offers an hourly hand weeding service. Once the lawn is purged of the weeds, it is a good idea to immediately slit seed or overseed the area. Leaving bald patches will leave the area vulnerable to germinating weeds.
For stubborn weeds that grow through pavement and cement or return quickly, you may still need to use a weed-killing product on the roots. Again, you can pull out what you can – roots included – and use the product as a spot treatment, preventing any harm to children and pets.