Author Archives: Glen

Weeds in winter

How to Get Rid of Winter Weeds

For most people, winter is a time where lawn and yard maintenance take a back seat due to the cold. Even if you live in an area that sees relatively mild winters, there’s a high possibility that you don’t really want to be outside pulling weeds once the weather cools off for the year.

Luckily, there are a few simple ways to get rid of weeds that pop up during the winter.

Invest in winter weed & feed

If your region has mild winters with little to no snow, your lawn and/or garden might benefit from a winter application of weed and feed.  Weed and feed is a popular line of products that are designed to both fertilize and kill and prevent weeds – they are an especially potent product to use as a creeping Charlie killer.

Unlike summer weed killers, weed and feeds can be applied when the lawn is wet, which makes it easier to find time to apply it. In addition, applying it to a wet lawn actually makes it work better.

Spot treat the broadleaf weeds

Even when the grass is brown and dormant, weeds like dandelions and henbit will continue to grow as long as the weather isn’t too cold. This, of course, is very unfortunate for those who live in temperate areas of the world.

If you fall into this category of people, don’t worry! You can still battle the dandelions. All you have to do is get out of the spot treatments and go at it. Simply spot treat your weeds with a natural weed killer that has a vinegar or citrus base.

It’s recommended to use spot treatments once your grass has died so that the weeds you want to target stand out.

Winter weeds in garden

 Apply mulch

Since the key factor of weed growth is the sunlight it receives, it would make sense to prevent your weeds from seeing the sun. Even in the winter, this is a simple way to remedy the weeds that might grow during the cold weather.

A good way to prevent them from growing is by covering them with a layer of mulch. Of course, this won’t be possible in all situations, but if your weeds are growing in ana rea that can be covered with mulch without causing a disruption, it could be an option for you.

Plant more plants

There are some plants that thrive in cooler temperatures. It just so happens, too, that some of these plants are actually perfect for weed suppression.  Planting them in the area with the weed problem can help choke out the weeds, which is exactly what you want.

While there’s no one right way to tackle winter weeds, there are a few methods that work better than others. We’ve done our best to outline a few of our favorite (and, in our opinion, most effective) methods above.

If you aren’t keen on any of these suggestions, though, you could always take to digging the weeds out by hand. This can take some time and even more careful attention but is often well worth the effort.

Gasoline killing plants

Does Gasoline Kill Weeds?

Does gasoline kill weeds? The short answer is yes. The long answer, however, is much more complicated than that simple three-letter word. So, this considered, we’re going to dive into the ins and outs of using gasoline to kill weeds.

Can Gasoline Kill Weeds?

The short answer to this question is yes. The next question to ask, however, is whether or not using gasoline as a herbicide is a best practice or something that should be used as a last resort. Like many things, there’s no clear answer, as it comes down to a matter of personal preference, priorities, and values.

Gasoline is commonly used to kill weeds, as you might have guessed. Many gardeners are fond of simply tossing some gasoline onto a weed and watching it wither away and die. Problem solved, right? Kind of. There are things that need to be considered when using gasoline as the method of choice for weed control.

Things to Consider Before Using Gasoline

Potential safety hazards

Both using and storing gasoline can be dangerous for gardeners. The liquid is highly flammable and quick to catch flame, which makes using it incredibly risky – especially around anything that gives off heat and could potentially ignite it.

Everything from cigarettes, heat lamps, electrical sparks, and hot engines have the potential to cause the lawn and surrounding area to go up in flames. Handling the liquid is dangerous too, as it gives off toxic vapors that can cause health problems, as well as irritate and burn the skin. Gloves and a mask should always be worn while applying the liquid.

Environmental damage

Gasoline kills weeds but does not stick to them exclusively. This means that when you pour gasoline on one plant, it’s likely to migrate to others. It also seeps into the ground and can harm the plants, animals, and insects within the dirt.

In addition, however, it can travel so far down that it’s able to pollute well water. You might think that you’d be able to tell if you are well water was polluted, but small amounts are often undetectable by the nose, meaning that you could potentially be drinking polluted water.

Gas station in the garden

How To Use Gasoline Properly?

Using a small amount of gasoline is safe, while generally, spraying an entire can on your lawn is not. When using gasoline, you’ll want to apply it on a cool day and avoid watering the area afterward, to ensure that it doesn’t migrate more than it would have originally.

Also, focus n spraying the weed and not the soil. Pets and children should be kept out of the area for at least 24 hours, too.

Gasoline should be stored in a cool, dry place, where it won’t get tipped over or get so hot that it becomes a fire hazard. Storing it away from the house is always a recommendation.

Poison ivy on tree

How to Get Rid of Poison Ivy in the Garden

Poison ivy has plagued man – and especially gardeners- since the beginning of time. In fact, most ancient tribes had a name for this plant that translated to something along the lines of “the plant that makes you hurt”.

So, what happens when it shows up in your garden? Here are a few easy ways to get rid of poison ivy without having it hurt you.

Store-bought herbicide

Using a herbicide is, by far, one of the most popular methods for killing poison ivy and, if it’s done properly, can be one of the most effective methods, too. When it comes to choosing the best poison ivy killer, you need to make sure that your chosen herbicide is safe for use in gardens.

In addition, you’ll also want to try and avoid spraying or applying herbicide (regardless of whether it’s safe or not) to plants that you don’t want to kill, just as a best practice. You have a ton of options in terms of application methods and brands of herbicide, so be sure to take the time to do your research and figure out which is best for your garden.

Boiling water

Boiling water is an old trick that can be used to kill everything from dandelions to, of course, poison ivy. While it works best when the undesirable weed is growing away from your other plants, it can still be used in populous areas as long as you’re careful and/or don’t mind sacrificing a few flowers for the greater good.

All you need to do is boil water and then pour it over the weeds you intend to kill. Over time, the weed will regrow but if you keep up with the hot water method every time it does, the growth rate will quickly slow down.

Plucking

If you’d rather not kill the plant before you dispose of it, you can come at it from a different angle – plucking. This is exactly what it sounds like and requires a few tools: thick garden gloves, garbage bags, pruning sheers, and a sharp-edged shovel.

Put on your gloves and carefully cut the stems off the poison ivy. Do not rip! Toss the discarded pieces of plants into a garbage bag and then proceed to carefully dig up to 8-inches into the dirt, removing the root system with care. Just remember to bag the roots, too.

Salt and vinegar

Another tried and true method is the combination of salt and vinegar. In a pt, combine the two ingredients and get them to a boil. Let them cool and then transfer the mixture into a spray bottle, before going outside to battle the offender.

Be careful not to spray your other plants.

Garden with mulch off sideways

How to Keep Mulch Off Sidewalks

So you’ve placed a nice new walkway in front of your house. It looks great – clean, crisp, and appealing. However, you then realize that you have a small problem. This problem is that the mulch you use for your landscaping is migrating onto your new walkway. What will you do?

As it turns out, edging is what you’ll do. Here are a few edging techniques to help you remedy the issue.

Keeping mulch with landscape rocks

Landscape Rocks

Landscape rocks are one of the easiest ways to protect your walkway from mulch. Landscape rocks are, essentially, large rocks that can be used to create a barrier between two areas. They can range in size from medium to large depending on your preferences and vary in shape and color.

Often, suitable rocks can be found at the river or lake. They can also be purchased from landscaping stores.

Mulch plastic edging

Plastic Edging

Plastic edging is an inexpensive edging option. This option is effective at containing mulch because it is installed a few inches into the ground and has a plastic, often rounded and tube-like, a lip that sits on top of the ground. This lip makes a good barrier.

Plastic edging is easy to install and one of the cheaper options. However, the drawback is that it won’t contain large amounts of mulch, only a few inches of mulch.

Precast Concrete Edging

The precast concrete edging looks great but can be expensive. It goes well with curved many beds and can change the appearance of space with ease.

This type of edging is, as its name suggests, concrete. The concrete has been pre-molded and shaped and can be laid along the edges of your mulch to keep it in its desired area. It can be made into a wide variety of shapes, ranging from rounded structures to crisp blocks and everything in between.

As we said though, it can be expensive since it’s made of pure concrete.

Rhizome Barriers

Rhizome barriers are the most labor-intensive type of edging on our list. In fact, for shallow or very small areas, this kind of barrier is probably overkilling. For large or extremely deep areas, though, it works wonders.

It requires the digging of a trench roughly three feet deep. Leave the top six inches of rhizome barrier above the ground to contain your mulch. In terms of appearance, these barriers look a lot like basic plastic edging.

Wooden timbers to keep mulch

Wooden Timbers

Wooden timbers are another inexpensive option. They are ideal for areas without curves or bends and can come in a variety of lengths. The only problem with these, though, is that they sometimes need to be replaced – especially if you live in an area that is prone to heat and moisture, a combination that can cause wood to rot.

Wooden timbers can be used for curved areas, however, they will need to be made into smaller pieces in order to accommodate the bend. This can be a hassle when it comes to installation.

Metal Edging

Metal edging is a modern take on the edging. There are types of stiff metal that can be used as good edging for mulch; this metal can be customized into a number of fun shapes and is a durable option. Some metal edging is available in rolls, which means it is more flexible and better suited for curved areas.

weeds in lawn

Natural Weed Control

There are hardly any gardeners who would like weeds in the garden. However, even if they cause a lot of trouble, it is not necessary to resort to chemical weed killers immediately. Weeds can also be eradicated in a gentler way. This will not harm the surrounding animals.

If you value a garden in harmony with nature, you should avoid using synthetic chemicals. In any case, the use of such materials on paved or sealed surfaces, e.g. garage entrances, as harmful substances can penetrate groundwater.

Dandelions, nettles, and other weeds are undesirable guests in gardens because they can deprive ornamental plants of nutrients, light, and water. They are true survival professionals and are able to adapt perfectly to the current conditions. It is usually easier to prevent weeds from planting if you know what kind of soil they like. For example, nettles like soil that is high in nitrogen and rich in nutrients, buttercups like stagnant moisture, and the bell stay in compacted soil.

In general, weeds are classified according to their mode of propagation – roots or seeds. To control weeds effectively and over the long term, you need to know which weed belongs to which species.

Seed-knitting weeds

Seed-knitting grasses usually bloom in summer. But in this way, they produce so many seeds that they can germinate from the ground for several years after that. When digging the ground, they are lifted back to the surface and germinate. When the weeds that knit the seeds are cut as they bloom, they start to grow even stronger, so the gardeners who do so get the exact opposite result than expected. In the spring, it is best to wait 2-3 weeks before sowing or planting.

You will then be able to remove most of the weeds that have germinated by then. Simply loosen the soil with a hand cultivator and remove unwanted incidents. If they haven’t bloomed yet, they can even be composted and used for a good purpose. Examples of typical seed-bearing weeds are three-leafed weevil, glaze, pigeon, and narrow-leaved plantain.

Weeds propagating by roots:

Weed-propagating weeds first spread underground at the roots and reproduce much less by seeds. If you leave at least a little root after grubbing them up, the grass will germinate again quickly.

Unlike seed-propagated weeds, root-spreading weeds cannot be placed in a compost pile because their roots are not destroyed well enough during the composting process. Examples of typical root-propagating weeds are annual grasses, dandelions, and nasty bellflowers.

To avoid the need for chemical weed killers, we recommend using old and proven methods such as uprooting, mulching, or heating. Weeding by hand is not always practical, especially if there are many of them.

Weeds with superficial roots are easily uprooted. According to the principle that “nobody grows where there is no light”, mulching is a good way to control weeds. If the soil is covered, weeds cannot develop properly. Peeling is also an effective way to kill weeds. This is especially useful where it cannot be accumulated. However, this should only be done by experienced gardeners, as otherwise soil organisms may be harmed. The heat lasts just a few seconds, but completely destroys weeds in just a few days.

Remember, not all weeds are bad. Among the weeds are the so-called “pioneer plants” – dandelions and soil mosses. Their strong roots aerate the soil and pump nutrients from the lower soil layers, allowing other plants to grow later in the area.

Many weeds are an important food source for insects and birds. Therefore, you should always think carefully about whether weeds are really causing problems, and if so, in which places so that you can take targeted action in the right places.