04-23-2010, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Near San Francisco
| | Re: Lawn/Landscape
Weeds in the lawn are of 2 types as far as weed killers go.
Grassy weeds in a grass lawn are difficult to kill, but easy to prevent. (Crabgrass, annual bluegrass and others) The products designed to kill them will stop the seeds from growing. You need to get this product on the lawn before the seeds of these weeds even sprout. This sort of weed killer is called Pre-emergent. It kills the weeds before you see them, before the leaves emerge above the ground. Some of the pre-emergents will also reduce the sprouting of broadleaf weeds.
There are forms of this that can be used elsewhere in the garden (such as around shrubs and flowers), but there are better ways to control weeds in flower beds and other non-lawn areas.
Talk to the local certified nursery folk, department of agriculture, master gardeners or extension service. (Whatever program is in your state). They will help you with the proper timing.
The other group of lawn weeds are the broadleaf types. (Dandelion, Oxalis, Spurge and many more) There are weed killers that will kill broadleaf weeds with minimal damage to (most) grass lawns. In general the weeds need to be growing pretty well so they will take the weed killer into their leaves and circulate it. This is why these sorts of products are often combined with fertilizer in a 'Weed and Feed' sort of product. These weed killers can be dangerous to use. They usually contain 2-4-D and other materials. Gloves and mask, coveralls, and launder your clothing afterward.
Combining the use of these 2 types of products through the year can indeed reduce the weeds to the point that a few minutes pulling now and then will be all the weeding a lawn needs. The timing is critical, though. Many weed seeds sprout at certain times of the year, which may vary with temperature, and you need to time the application of the pre-emergent very carefully to get maximum benefit.
Around here there is a 3rd sort of lawn weed. Most lawns in my area are cool season grasses like Blue, Rye and Fescue. Invaders include warm season grasses like Bermuda and Bent grasses. Impossible to get rid of, once they are started in the lawn.
And that better way to control weeds not in lawns:
Cover the soil with whatever you like, and you can cut the weed growth to almost nothing.
Organic mulches like bark and compost are really good around here, because the soils tend to lack organic matter. As the bark or compost continues to break down it is benefitting the soil in several ways.
As for whether I still like working in the garden: No. I went the other way: I started in the garden and worked my way in to the aquariums.
I do Landscape Design and consulting, though.