How to Declare War on Weeds – a Tactical Defense Plan

War on Weeds PictureLadies and gentlemen, this is war! War on weeds.

Do you want weeds in your lawn? *#@! no!

Do you want weeds in your flower beds? *#@+ no!

Do you want weeds cropping up in your sidewalk or patio? $*#@ no!

It’s time to make a battle plan to annihilate them all and declare war on those weeds!

Know Your Enemy

Like all wars, this one will consist of smaller battles. Skirmishes, if you will. And like all wars, we must have a clear plan for victory.

First, you must know your enemy. All weeds are different. You don’t fight the dandelion the same way you fight the crabgrass. Here at Heritage Lawns & Irrigation, we see several weeds popping up the most. So, let’s take it one weed at a time.

Related Read: Build a Royals Blue Garden in 9 Simple Steps

Crabgrass Corps

Though this enemy goes AWOL in the winter, it leaves small lookouts (seeds) in the ground to attack when conditions are right. You’ll find groups of them in fields with bare soil. They can survive on almost no water, and the hot temperatures don’t seem to phase them at all.

Your best defense is a good offense. Attack early in spring, before it pops up. They may regroup and form a counter attack in the fall, so be on the lookout and attack with crabgrass preventer late in the season as well as early.

Dandelion Detachment

The dandelion keeps its supply chain hidden deep in the ground where it is hard to sever. You can kill off the front ranks above ground, but new enemies will emerge from the taproot, which can be over a foot deep in the soil. It’s a tough combatant who can handle heat and arid conditions.

Hand-to-hand combat may be the best strategy if you can remove all of its underground supply chain. The dandelion tends to be the most vulnerable in the fall when its carrying its supplies underground for winter. Sending in a deadly infiltrator (weed killer) in the fall may prevent many from coming back next spring.

Related Read: What Weeds Tell You about Your Lawn

Wild Violets Brigade

This particular enemy relies on its special armor for defense – a waxy coating that keeps bullets (aka: broadleaf weed killers) from penetrating its leaves. A sophisticated underground network of rhizomes helps it gain a foothold even where its seeds can’t infiltrate successfully.

Like the dandelion, it is vulnerable to the Trojan horse trick of sending in spies (weed killer) in the fall when all the supplies are being moved underground. Hand-to-hand combat is also effective.

Ground Ivy Guard

Try a raking maneuver with this enemy. When you see them creeping around moist, shady areas, rake ivy to expose their underground runners and mow them over, or spray them with bullets (broadleaf weed killer).

Clover Cavalry

This clever enemy can regenerate itself by reseeding and by vegetative (clonal) growth. I think that makes this a clone war (Star Wars, anyone?). Look for it in moist areas. The seeds are battle ready surviving high heat and low temperatures. They can stay dormant underground for years. Rooted deeply in the landscaping community, clover is hard to kill with hand-to-hand combat but weed killer can be effective.

Yellow Nutsedge Regiment

This enemy has strong underground network connections (tubers on its roots help it store food). It can also increase its troops by spreading seeds. It likes warm, wet conditions and low, damp areas, so if you have these in your yard, disrupt their camp by adding dirt to raise the low spots. We don’t recommend attacking this enemy with weak forces. It’s best to call for reinforcements and use a take-no-prisoners approach.

Weeds are just a symptom of a bigger issue. If you kill the weed, but don’t fix the issue, you will be battling weeds again and again. If you need reinforcements, give Heritage Lawns & Irrigation a call at (913) 451-4664 and we’ll be happy to help you in your war against weeds.