Top Tips for Organic Weed Control for Lawns
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Taking a Non-chemical, Integrated Approach to Weed Control
Organic gardening and lawn care practices nourish plants and control diseases and pests naturally, allowing you to avoid the use of artificial chemicals and artificial manipulations.
But biological weed control is about more than just killing weeds safely. The first step is to grow a healthy lawn to minimize weed pressure. It should also include an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that allows an acceptable amount of weeds (weed limit) in exchange for a safer, non-chemical environment.
IPM is an ecosystem strategy that focuses on the long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultivation practices, and resistant varieties.
Pests are not only troublesome insects but also weeds that compete for resources. By IPM standards, chemical weed eradication is the last resort.
Promoting a Healthy Lawn
The basic principle of biological weed control is that healthy soil and grass promote vigorous plant growth that outpaces weeds. Therefore, the first step in biological weed control is to test the soil for voids and then naturally modify and fertilize the soil based on the results of soil tests.
A soil test will determine the pH, which should be between 5.8 and 7.2 for lawns. Warm-season grasses tolerate a slightly lower pH, while cool-season grasses prefer a higher pH. From there, follow best practices to keep your lawn as healthy and resilient as possible:
- Mow to the highest level possible to promote a dense, lush lawn that can displace weeds.
- Reduce compaction by aeration. Most experts recommend airing once a year in the fall.
- Improves water and nutrient absorption by removing lumps, but only when necessary. Stubble cultivation is an aggressive action that can cause damage to herbaceous plants. This is only necessary when the straw has become so dense that it prevents water and nutrients from entering the soil.
- Cover the lawn with compost. It is simply a matter of spreading a light layer of well-decomposed compost over the lawn and sweeping it up.
- Clean bare areas in the fall, well before frost. This gives the grass seeds a head start for spring so that the plots are filled with grass and not left open for weed seeds.
- Avoid scraping the grass (cutting it too short) when mowing. Damaged grass canopies recover very slowly and allow weeds to settle.
- Water deeply and rarely. Maintain adequate soil moisture, but don't overwater. Many weeds have shallow roots and benefit from frequent watering.
Organic Weed Control Methods
While maintaining a healthy lawn is the best way to minimize weed growth, direct weed control in local areas or to control concentrated weed growth is often needed. There are several options to eliminate weeds organically:
Herbicidal soaps are natural moss and algae control products. There are many weed control formulations that use natural oils, concentrates, and other organic substances. All are non-selective herbicides; in fact, there are still no organic herbicides available that are selective and only kill broadleaf weeds without affecting lawns and garden plants, as many chemical herbicides do.
Manual weed removal extractors, long screwdrivers, hand spatulas, or without gloves is the safest and most effective method of weeding. A variety of weeding tools simplify this job and have the added benefit of providing aeration to the lawn. In a garden, systematic weeding will gradually result in a garden that is easy to maintain, as weeds are no longer present for planting.
Weed flamers are gaining popularity for biological weed control. They basically have modified propane torches that are used to burn weeds. A single application of heat from a propane flame kills almost all weeds, but it also kills the grass, so this method is best for areas where desirable weeds are not at risk.
Enjoy This Video Tutorial About How to Make Homemade Weed Killer
Source: Lawn Care Life
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