Landscaping Professional Jennifer Miree Cope Discusses How to Identify and Kill Weeds in Your GardenBy David Thompson, UniversityHerald Reporter
Not everything in your garden is welcome. Weeds can overrun even a well-tended garden, sapping beautiful plants of their nutrients. But with some understanding of how weeds operate, you can easily eliminate them. Here's what Jennifer Miree Cope suggests plant lovers do when their landscape becomes lousy with weeds.
Knowing your weeds is the first step to stopping them from getting out of hand. If you know what's growing in your garden, you might know which guests are uninvited and which are. But regardless, there are some common weeds that anyone can find popping up in their gardens.
There's a wide array of weeds, but they typically fall into two categories: broadleaf and grassy. Grassy weeds get their name from looking like grass, while broadleaf weeds will have fleshy leaves and potentially even flowers.
Grassy weeds are hard to spot in lawns since they blend in well, while broadleaf weeds can be challenging to identify in gardens since their flowers can be mistaken for plants that are there deliberately.
Weeds, like flowers, are also either annual or perennial. Annual weeds will die at the end of the season, while perennial weeds will grow back over multiple years.
Once you've determined your weed and its type, you can start looking into ways to kick it to the curb.
Stopping Weeds in Their Tracks
Hand-weeding is best for gardens, especially if they are smaller. While some chemicals can work wonders, pulling weeds by hand ensures the chemicals don't accidentally kill off some of your desirable plants.
Manual weeding is also most effective if you struggle with annual broadleaf weeds. You should aim to remove them as early as possible, pulling them from the root so they don't spread. You can also hand-weed with a weeder if you'd prefer. Using this tool allows you to remove weeds kneeling or standing.
If nothing else seems to work, or you can't keep up with how fast your weeds spread, you can use herbicides. Just be careful, and always follow the directions; misusing them can hurt other plants or even the soil.
Preemergence herbicides are preemptive measures against weeds and should be used before weeds break through the soil. Postemergence herbicides are for weeds that have already grown.
There are also selective and nonselective herbicides. Selective herbicides will only go after specific weeds, while nonselective ones will kill virtually anything that grows. You can use broadleaf-specific herbicides to handle broadleaf weeds and hand-weed out any grass if you're worried about harming your garden with non-selective herbicides.
A Wrap on Your War With Weeds
Which method is right for your garden will depend on your unique preferences and space. Take good care of your plants and keep an eye out for new weed growth, and you should have your weed problem under wraps in no time.
About Jennifer Miree Cope
Jennifer Miree Cope graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1985 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Renowned for her passion and talent as a landscape designer, Jennifer's associates often praise her for being organized and thorough.
When not hiking in the mountains of North Carolina, attending University of Alabama sporting events, or exercising, Jennifer is often volunteering with one of the many charitable endeavors supported by Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama: STAIR tutoring, Holiday Ho