Landscaping: Prep before Landing

I've mentioned before that I'm less concerned about lawn weeds than some people. I also firmly believe that the right lawn care will save you a lot of problems with weeds. However, there are some weeds that need to be stopped, and stopped early, or you'll find yourself without grass and with an entire field of dandelions. Why does that matter? If you care at all about the rest of your landscape-including your garden, vegetable garden, and landscape beds, you need to get rid of particularly noxious lawn weeds while they're small and manageable, before they set seed or ramp up with new growth. Otherwise, these weeds will invade the rest of your landscape.

The Case Study that Converted Me

My yard has a problem with dollar weed. This weed is like a hydra or an amoeba. You cut off its head and it sprouts six more. It spreads by underground runners, and is incredibly resilient. Last summer, I made a new landscape bed in my garden. I didn't do any kind of weed treatment before starting the new bed. That was a huge mistake. Now I had lovely lettuces growing, but they were being choked out by dollar weed.

Just outside the bed, my lawn guys sprayed the dollar weed with Image (the ONLY herbicide that seems to work on this nasty pest). That dollar weed died, lickedy-split, while my veggies continued to fight with the leftover lawn weeds. The dollar weed was so entrenched in the new vegetable garden, there was no way I could have sprayed it without harming my veggies. Because I didn't take the time to act when the weeds were small, before I put in the bed, I'm going to have to re-do the entire landscape bed this year.

Approximately the same thing happened with some particularly robust dandelions in that corner of the yard.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

If I had taken the time to dig up or spray the weeds that I know to be major pests before moving on to the rest of my yard work, I would have saved myself a lot of time in the long run. Now, when others are enjoying their first spring blooms, I'll be renovating a brand new landscape bed that I should be re-planting.

The lesson: Ignore weeds at your peril!

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