Whether you own a home or a business in the Lansing area, trying to keep your property looking great can be a challenge, at best. It’s likely that weeds are the bane of your existence. After all, the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University identifies more than two dozen weed species as the state’s worst — and those are just the most common! While HTA Companies specializes in weed prevention, we’ve found that the best way to keep a weed-free property is to keep them from taking hold in the first place. It’s easier than you think if you follow these steps.
Keep the Soil Intact
The soil in your lawn and garden is chock full of weed seeds. However, like any other seeds, weeds require a sufficient quantity of air and light to sprout. If you’re digging or tilling too much, you’re bringing more of those seeds to the surface and giving them a chance to grow. When you need to dig, keep it as localized as possible — and that includes the times you choose to pull weeds by hand. Fine Gardening suggests cutting the roots with a knife or other sharp object rather than pulling or digging, since that minimizes soil disturbance.
Mulch doesn’t just keep your lawn and gardens looking tidy. It helps soil trap moisture, while the critters it shelters (like crickets and other insect species) help keep soil healthy while also feasting on weed seeds. But that isn’t the only way it helps control weeds. Remember, we mentioned earlier that plants need light to grow. Mulch helps to prevent weeds by keeping light away from those seeds.
While it’s not a good idea to overcrowd plants — they end up competing for water and nutrients — it’s also not a good idea to leave large spaces between them. Even small plants create shade, and are capable of denying sunlight to the weeds around them.
Nobody likes to mow (we’ll have more to say about this below), but if you’re going to mow, do it right. It’s tempting to mow short so you don’t have to mow quite as often, but this can cause grass to burn or even die off. You’re better off keeping grass mowed slightly higher. You’ll have to mow more often, but healthy grass that doesn’t contain gaps and bare spaces chokes out weed growth too.
Plants need air, sunshine, and water to grow. We take for granted that some plants will thrive in shade, while others require direct sunlight or partial sun. But water matters, too, especially if you’re trying to control weeds. Prevent indiscriminate watering and you’ll prevent indiscriminate weed growth. Your lawn will be healthier overall, too, since over-watering can contribute to rot and promote the growth of other organisms (like fungus and mushrooms). Not sure how best to water your landscape? Our landscape design services include the design and installation of sprinklers and irrigation systems.
Get Lawn Maintenance
Of course, you can take every last one of these steps with the utmost dedication, and you’re still likely to have weeds. They’re stubborn little buggers! That’s why we encourage you to take advantage of a comprehensive lawn maintenance plan that addresses your lawn’s needs year ‘round. If you live in the Lansing area, a call to HTA Companies is a first step toward everything from mowing, edging, and trimming to care for trees and shrubs, fertilizer, and pre-emergent and weed control to boost curb appeal with a minimum of time and effort on your part. Questions? Call 517-482-2007 today.