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      While we all love the beauty of lush landscape, there’s a downside to the time entailed in managing weeds. Here are some pro tips to reduce, manage and eliminate this tedious time waster.

      Mulching 

      Not only does mulch assist in keeping moisture in the ground to help plants retain water and cool the soil, but it can be the home of crickets and beetles which feed on weed seeds. Laying down a fabric barrier after an area is well weeded and then applying two inches of mulch is ideal for minimal maintenance in your landscape area. Applying a pre-emergent before mulching is another useful technique in setting up a barrier in the top layer of soil, to prevent dormant seeds from emerging.

      Effective Weeding

      If you’re space is too much to maintain, consider mowing the area until you can weed well. Partial weeding won’t allow you to get a handle on the area and will lead to frustration with an out-of-control space. Weeding when the soil is moist has proven to be the most effective for successfully pulling the roots. Using your own hands will do most of the job but having a tool to dig deep roots and twist them out will eliminate those that can’t be pulled by hand. If you don’t have moisture on your side, using a hoe to slash through dry soil and cut the heads off weeds will usually stop them in their tracks and prevent weeds from dropping seeds and spreading. Don’t forget to remove them from the landscape area or they will most likely replant themselves and grow again.

      Fill in With Foliage 

      Weed seeds thrive in warmth and sunlight so filling empty patches with leafy foliage is another way to keep weeds out. It’s still important to keep recommended spacing measurements in mind when planting but often new plants need a little less space to fill in without running into other plants.

      Spray Herbicide 

      After weeds are under control, prevention is possible through herbicide application. Many homeowners don’t like the idea of applying harsh chemicals so using an organic alternative such as vinegar or lemon juice is a great way to manage weeds. Using herbicides or their healthier alternatives still require diligence to not allow spray to drift onto a desirable plant, which could damage or kill it. Reading the label and understanding the directions is vital so the spray is applied effectively.

      If you have been woefully wasting your precious time weeding, try a new technique. Be ready with a barrier and mulch, weed well, thoughtfully fill in the space with foliage and continue managing with an herbicide or organic alternative spray. It’s time to find something else to do with all that time you’ll be saving.

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