What are Weeds?
How to prevent weeds from growing in the flower bed. We always get asked this question. Weeds are plants that grow in the wrong place. They can be annuals, perennials or biennials. Some common types of weeds in flower beds include:
- Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale)
- Nettles (Urtica dioica)
- Chickweed (Stellaria media)
- Clover (Triflorium)
- Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
- Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)
Why Weeds are Problematic
Weeds are problematic because they compete with your flowers for nutrients and water. They also reduce the aesthetic appeal of your flower bed.
Once they start sprouting, weeds will spread from your landscape beds into your lawn.
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Proper soil preparation will keep weeds at bay. Here are the steps to follow:
- Add compost to the soil and then dig it in to a depth of at least 6 inches. This will help improve the structure of your flower bed, which makes it easier for plants to grow in and prevents weeds from taking hold in the first place.
- Test your soil pH level before planting anything in your new flower bed. If it’s too acidic or alkaline (or just plain wrong), you’ll need to add something like lime or sulfur that will bring it into balance with what’s recommended by experts in your region–and this can be done before you plant anything if you know what kind of flowers you want.
Your fresh, new zoysia sod will appreciate if you prep the soil there as well before laying sod pallets.
Weed Prevention with Mulch
Mulch is a great way to prevent weeds from growing in your flower bed. There are many different types of mulch, and they all have their benefits. Here are some examples:
- Wood chips or bark – these can be purchased in bags at most home improvement stores. They’re inexpensive and easy to apply, but they don’t last very long and may attract termites if they’re left on the ground too long (which is why it’s important to periodically replace wood chip mulches).
- Straw – this type of mulch doesn’t need any special tools for application, but it does require more frequent watering than other types. This is because straw tends not hold moisture as well as wood chips do. It also decomposes quickly when exposed directly under the sun’s rays; therefore it should only be used around plants that won’t be exposed directly underneath those rays (such as shrubs).
- Hay – this type works well around perennial flowers because it helps keep soil temperature low enough so that seeds cannot germinate until springtime arrives again next year.
- Rock or gravel – these come in a variety of colors and sizes.
Weed Prevention with Landscape Fabric
Landscape fabric are perforated, woven fabrics that is placed around plants and over soil. They inhibit weed growth by blocking sunlight.
There are several different types of landscape fabric, which vary in their effectiveness and cost. These include:
- Plastic sheeting
- Black plastic sheets
- Inorganic (polyester, polpropylene)
- Organic (hemp, burlap)
Landscape fabric should be put down first and then covered with mulch to have optimal benefits.
Weed Prevention with Herbicides
Herbicides are chemicals that kill weeds. There are many types of herbicides, but they all work in the same way, by preventing the growth of new leaves and stems. This prevents the plant from absorbing sunlight and water, so it eventually dies.
There are two main types of herbicides: contact and systemic. Contact herbicides kill plants on contact, while systemic ones need to be absorbed by your weed’s roots before killing them off completely (this can take several weeks).
Most gardeners prefer using systemic herbicides because they’re easier to apply–just sprinkle them over your flower bed. However, it’s important not to use too much at once. Or else you could end up damaging some of your flowers’ roots.
As well as killing off any unwanted plants nearby without realizing it until later when they start dying off one by one…
If weed growth gets out of hand and also takes over your lawn, it may be best to just start over with healthy, weed-free St. Augustine sod.
Weed Prevention by Hand-Pulling
Hand-pulling weeds is hands-down the best way to remove weeds without possibly damaging other plants. There are lots of tools to make it easier on manual weed removal.
If you hand-pull weeds as soon as you spot them, you will notice a reduction in the total number of weeds. When weeds are hand-pulled quickly, they are not able to spread.
The best defense against weeds is a multifaceted approach. You will achieve the best results if you combine and execute all these ideas. Weeds are pesky and fast growers.
Even when you put down a physical barrier, some weeds will get through. This is why you need to have herbicides on hand, weed pulling tools, and replace mulch when necessary.