I'm beginning to think of the weeds in my landscape as vagabonds. They wander from place to place and lead a carefree life, then because they are disreputable and worthless, settle without being invited where they are not welcome.
Harsh words I know, but believe me I'm choosing my words with care because these vagabonds are trying my patience.
Because of this weedy invasion since the rain returned to our area, I thought I would share how some gardeners have tried to stem the tide of these unwelcome squatters. You'll notice that some things have worked and others were snickered at by the weeds:
•Combination of vinegar and salt, mixed well in a little water and poured directly on weeds that were poking through rock mulch around shrubs.
Result: Crabgrass still growing, not at all bothered by the solution. Shrubs turning brown and looking sick.
What happened?: These two items are lethal on all sorts of plants and some weeds (not crabgrass obviously), but should only be used on cracks in sidewalks or driveways because rain or watering will cause them to leech into the soil surrounding other vegetation and kill or sicken whatever they come in contact with. If you have tried this one, immediately flush the soil where you used the product with lots of water and then hope for the best.
•Roundup was sprayed directly on weeds in the lawn.
Result: Creeping Charlie and crabgrass not at all bothered — a slight burn on leaves. Weeds that were killed left nice large dead spots throughout the lawn. Overspray killed surrounding grass as well.
What happened?: Roundup or other sprays of this type are excellent for killing weeds, but again should be used with care and are not recommended for grassy areas.
What to do?: Hire a certified lawn-care professional to treat the lawn for weeds or purchase weed-and-feed and read the directions on the label as to the appropriate time to use this product. It is usually best to do the weed-and-feed when the weeds are young, tender and growing and soil is moist.
During drought conditions, definitely do not use fertilizer or weed killer. All vegetation is stressed to the max and using either of these products would kill — not heal.
•Before germination in early spring, you can use a weed preventer such as Preen (Preen is now offering an organic weed preventer for vegetable gardens). You can even use a weed preventer throughout the growing season to stop weed seeds from germinating.
•If you need a stress reliever, pulling these vagabond weeds can be very satisfying. Just be sure to get roots and all, or they will be back!