It may not be a big surprise, but maintenance is key to a healthy landscape. Most of us have limited time to spend working in the yard, but with the right planning and design, we can create landscapes that use water efficiently, require minimal maintenance and look great.
Even with smart planning, weeding is still a chore that plagues most gardeners - especially this year with all the rain we’ve been getting! Our garden volunteer group was busy weeding last week to keep the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden healthy and looking its best.
Here are some tips to make weeding a little more manageable:
Get to the root of the problem: At the garden, our volunteers use garden knives called “Hori Horis,” to help remove the weeds root and all. This helps prevent the weed from re-growing from the root and can also help loosen the soil in the process. “Hori Horis” are a favorite of many gardeners and can be found at local garden centers.
Know your weeds: Some of our common perennial weeds, such as Canadian thistle, bindweed and Queen Anne’s lace are best killed with herbicide since it is nearly impossible to remove the entire root system. I’ve noticed that bindweed seems to grow even more voraciously when pulled! If the weed is not a perennial (doesn’t come back from the root next year), it’s ok to pull it without getting all the roots—just don’t let these go to seed, or you’ll have more weeds for the next 80 years.
Plan for next Spring: Since annual weeds grow from seed each year, you can help prevent the growth of these types of weeds by using a pre-emergent herbicide in March of next year. This will help prevent seeds from germinating, so be sure to avoid using this product around other seeds you’d like to grow, such as when re-seeding a lawn. As with any herbicide, be sure to read and follow instructions on the label.
Prioritize: Try not to be discouraged with all the weeds you may have right now. My yard has been a weed disaster. I found that targeting weeds that are setting seed first is a good way for me to get some weeding done without feeling overwhelmed. And the time spent in the yard after work helps me wind down and chat with neighbors. Perhaps weeding isn’t so bad after all!
To learn more about the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden and our volunteer program, visit the Conservation & Environmental Center at 2855 Mesa Road and be sure to make it to our last tour of the Spring Xeriscape Class Series on Wednesday, Aug. 23 from 5 to 6 p.m.
Bindweed growing out of a traffic cone.