How to Keep Weeds Out of Your Garden

One of the questions we hear the most from gardeners is “how do I keep weeds out of my garden?” No one likes pulling weeds and would rather spend their time enjoying their garden rather than maintaining it!

Colorful garden with brick pathThere are some simple steps you can take to minimize the impact of weeds, take care of them safely if they show up, but most importantly to keep them out in the first place. Not every yard is the same, though, so a consultation with a gardening expert from Hidden Creek Landscaping would be a good place to start.

What are some good ways to take care of weeds in my garden?

A quick surf of the internet will return many tips and many pieces of advice on how to best control weeds in your garden. But which are the right ones, the ones that will do the job right? We’ll examine a few here.

Are homemade weed killer sprays effective?

Recipes for homemade weed killers abound on the internet. Many begin with a vinegar base and then add in all kinds of things like lemon juice, dishwashing detergent, borax, salt, bleach, and so on. They may market themselves as natural or organic, often as an alternative to chemical solutions.

Unfortunately, like most folk remedies, they aren’t a sure bet. While they may kill off some weeds by making them wither and turn brown, they don’t get rid of the weeds for good. More likely than not, they’ll be back in a week or two.

It’s also important to remember that the health of your soil is paramount to great gardening, and saturating it with salt and vinegar may not be the best idea

How about commercial weed killers? Are they safe?

There are many commercial weed killers out there that heavily market their effectiveness. Many gardeners shy away from them because of fear that they may contaminate the soil. However, they can be effective if used properly.

It’s often best to consider them a last resort for weeds that can’t be dug out or for invasive species. It’s critical that you follow all directions and not overuse them, since adding any chemical to your soil will change the balance.

Ok, so how do I prevent weeds in my garden in the first place?

This is the real question that should be asked! If you can succeed at preventing weeds in the first place, you are well on the way to avoiding the question of whether or not to use herbicides as weed control.

The problem most gardeners face is that all the work they do to properly prepare their soil means that the great work they’ve done to help their flowers flourish works just as well on weeds. A good step is to mitigate the ways weed seeds get into your garden to start with.

Does mulch matter?

One of the easiest ways to prevent weeds from getting into your garden is by using good, shredded wood mulch. Shredded mulch has greater density than wood chips, so do a better job of keeping the weeds out of your soil.

Placing a thick layer of mulch around your plants also reduces the amount of sunlight that reaches the weed seeds in the soil. One good tip along the same lines is to put down a thick layer of newspapers around the plants that you then put the mulch on top of.

What about landscape fabric?

While landscape fabric has its uses, weed prevention in the garden isn’t one of them. While it keeps down any existing weeds that you place it on top of, it creates a clean palette for new weeds up above.

The dirt, debris, and leaves that accumulate on top of the fabric are just what new weeds are looking for. Plus, the roots of the weeds will grow down into the fabric, making them more difficult to remove. In general, landscape fabric is best used to mitigate weeds along paths and walkways, but are poor preventers of weeds in the long run.

Are there any good tricks to keep weeds out of vegetable gardens?

A good trick to keep weeds out of your vegetable gardens is to use grass and leaf clippings to keep them in check. They perform a similar function as mulch by keeping sunlight away from seeds in the soil. It’s also a great way to get rid of your yard waste!

Grass and leaf clippings provide much-needed nutrients to the soil. Using landscape edging around your garden beds will help keep grass and weeds from infiltrating the vegetable garden.

How do I know what the best strategies are for my garden?

We are here to help! Give us a call at Hidden Creek Landscaping for some expert advice. We’ve been helping homeowners keep their weeds at bay for years, and are considered one of the region’s top residential landscaping companies. We’d love to help you make your garden the best on the block!

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7 Ways to Make Your Grass Greener

There is nothing better than looking out the window of your home and seeing a lush lawn with bright and healthy green grass. The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert gardener to have the best-looking lawn on the block!

Stately home with lush and green lawnThe truth is that all you need is the proper mover and some pro tips that will help you make your grass greener. Regular maintenance is always the key. One of our expert landscapers can guide you through the steps needed to make sure your lawn is always in top-notch shape.

What are some things I can do to make my grass greener?

First and foremost, know that a perfect, green lawn takes dedication, consistency, and a ton of work. You’ll need to make sure the grass is mowed at the right height, properly fertilized, and water to exact specifications.

The right plan will help you know how to spray, fertilize, and properly cut your grass. Below are some great ways to get started on the right track.

1. Use composite waste to create a greener lawn

Composite waste is simply the biodegradable kitchen scraps you probably just throw in the trash. Put it to better use! Process it and add it to the soil to act as a fertilizer, encouraging healthy growth of your grass.

You can add the composite all over your yard for an even look, or as patches to take care of specific areas. Make sure that you water your lawn thoroughly after putting down the composite.

2. Treat your soil right!

Understanding the makeup of your soil will ensure that you give it the right nutrients to get the right you want. One example of a soil treatment that is highly effective is cornmeal. Not only is cornmeal a natural herbicide, but it also provides needed fertilizer and controls pests.

Another great treatment is Mycorrhizal fungi, which helps the roots of your grass attach properly to the ground and attract the right organic nutrients straight into the root.

3. Give your grass the right cut

One of the easiest mistakes to make when it comes to lawn care is incorrectly cutting your grass. Learning how to properly mow is critical in making your grass greener. A trim lawn that is kept at a steady height is key to giving your lawn the perfect look.

Proper trimming creates healthy growth and roots. The right way to cut is dependent on the kind of grass you have since different types have different optimal heights. Knowing what you’re working with is the first step to take in making your plan.

4. Recycling works!

Everyone knows that recycling is a good thing, but have you ever heard of grass-cycling? It turns out that one of the best fertilizers for grass is the grass itself. By leaving the clippings in the grass they feed the roots.

Not only does it help improve the soil ph levels and textures, but it also provides essential nutrients for the healthy growth of grass. It will both benefit your lawn and save you time that would be spent cleaning it up.

5. Keep the watering regular

It’s commonsense that grass needs the appropriate amount of water to thrive, but to make it truly shine you’ll want to make sure that it is watered regularly. But not too much! By having a smaller, regular watering cycle, you allow the water to more thoroughly seep into the soil instead of running off.

When you over-water, you fill the lawn with water, causing the good nutrients to run away and drive off helpers like worms, who work hard behind the scenes to keep your grass healthy!

6. Give it some air. Aeration, that is!

A healthy lawn loves free air circulation. When the soil is compacted, it creates a firm obstacle to fertilizer and proper water absorption. Depending on the type of soil and age of the lawn, it may need to be manually opened up.

An aerating machine or handheld tool does the job perfectly, opening up small holes that allow insects and air to pass through. Annual aeration is a great way to keep your grass healthy year after year.

7. Treat your lawn right!

Weeds not only make your lawn look unsightly, but they also make it unhealthy! You’ll want to put a weed control system in place so that the grass isn’t competing with weeds for water and nutrients.

A good feed and weed system gets rid of the unwanted plants while providing the fertilizer to make your grass look great.

What’s the best way to get started making my grass greener?

The best way to start is to consult with the pros! Give us a call at Hidden Creek Landscaping to see how our lawn maintenance specialists can get you on the right track to a better-looking lawn.

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