The War on Weeds!

July 10, 2018

You’ve probably never wondered why the phrase “growing like a weed” is such a popular idiom. Especially this time of year, when weeds are everywhere and seem to magically appear and reproduce overnight! Weeds grow SO FAST and are so destructive, they steal the moisture and nutrition REAL PLANTS need to thrive. So, we collected some hints about how to usurp those green devils and banish them to weed purgatory.

Sneaky Weeds That Look Like Grass

Grassy weeds have long slender blades and can grow upright or lay flat, but make no mistake, these are sneaky nuisance weeds. Some homeowners tolerate, even welcome crabgrass and nutgrass, while others attack them with a spray bottle like Gus in My Big Fat Greek Wedding – as if their lives depended on it!

Crabgrass can be difficult to notice initially, but its thick, spreading habit in both the lawn and garden make it a nuisance with no redeeming qualities. The nutgrass blades spread out like a helicopter and are topped with a mound of seed hulls. This is one of the most annoying lawn weeds to try to eliminate, but here’s how the pros do it.

Identify the Perpetrator

Are you doing battle with a grassy weed or a broadleaf weed? You’ll need a different product for each, and sometimes a different approach – like a small pressure sprayer vs. a two-wheeled broadcast spreader. Family Handyman recommends using the smallest amount of herbicide possible to do the job. This will not only save you time and money, but also reduce the amount of chemical you’re introducing into the environment. Our lawns are a favorite playground for children and pets and we want to leave nothing to chance with toxic herbicides.

Weed Killers – Harsh and Homemade

Technology has enabled manufacturers to come up with chemicals that can kill just about any weed, but you have to be careful and know the dangers and limitations — even with the “natural” or homemade weed-killers. The Garden Counselor offers great advice about commercial liquid and granular weed killers, and how to set your expectations for results.

With the current bent toward natural products, you can make your own homemade herbicide from 1 oz. of vodka to 2 cups water or combine 4 cups horticultural vinegar (also known as 20 percent vinegar, which is considerably stronger than household vinegar) and ¼ cup salt. Add a squirt of dish soap to help the spray stick to the weed leaves. Spray the weeds directly and try to avoid spraying your lawn or other plants – then allow them to dry. 

And, boiling water is a great option for eliminating weeds in between stepping stones or in cracks in the sidewalk.

Tree Hugger has recipes for six additional homemade herbicides that won’t scorch the earth!

Name That Weed

If you want to be able to call your lawn weeds by name, check out the 10 most common weeds likely to crop up in your lawn and garden. We know some homeowners in the mountains who can spot all 10 in a single square foot of their lawn!

When that happens, you know it’s time to get serious. Bob Vila of This Old House says the best way to attack weeds is by hand. Just put on some gloves for a better grip and pull the weeds by grabbing them close to the soil. If they break off, use a short or long-handled tool like Grampa’s Tool Stamper, and go after that stinker! 

We would be remiss if we didn’t talk about tree weeds. Those seedlings — or as they are sometimes known, volunteer trees — sprout up from a tree’s root system can be just as annoying as a dandelion, and sometimes more destructive.

It comes down to whether or not you want a tree where a seedling starts to grow. When you’re talking about a grove of Aspen, they seem desirable and attractive. But if you don’t want them where they sprout up, follow Gardening Know-How’s advice for “rooting them out”!

Living Weed-Free in Southshore!

Living lakeside at the master-planned community of  Southshore is a nature lovers’ delight with the open spaces and nearby 800-acre reservoir so near the neighborhood! If Southshore isn’t your neighborhood yet, stop in to see the models from Toll Brothers, Richmond American Homes and Century Communities, three of Colorado’s top builders. It’s life at the lake, in both ranch and two-story designs, priced between the upper $300s and the $700s.