Another view of the completed rear yard makeover.

The definition of a weed is ‘a plant considered undesirable in a particular situation, i.e. a plant in the wrong place.’   Many methods of controlling weeds have been developed over the last century. Pesticides were a popular method among some gardeners for almost a generation. .  Fortunately, as the public becomes more educated, they are realizing that the use of pesticides in not only unnecessary, it is detrimental to their landscape and to the overall health of mankind.  Here are a few tips to help with the long term health of your landscape;

Proper lawn cutting techniques:

Most homeowners cut their lawns to short and try  to achieve the ‘golf course’ look but they do not have golf course grass.  Cutting your lawn to short stresses the grass and that stress has a detrimental affect on the health of the lawn.  Here is a few tips to help with the health of your lawn;

  • Cut your lawn higher as it helps the grass to keep its strength and outcompete weeds,
  • Cutting the lawn higher helps to shade the soil from the sun, thus helping the soil to retain moisture.  This means less watering!
  • Mulch your lawn instead of bagging the clippings.  The single most important thing you can do is leave the clippings as this provides valuable nutrient for the soil.

Proper mulching of your garden beds:

The single most important thing you can do for you garden beds is to annually apply mulch.  Mulch provides the following benefits;

  • Proper mulching significantly reduces the need to weed.  The mulch creates a barrier between the soil and the sun so any weed seed in the soil has little chance of establishing,
  • Mulch breaks down to provide vital nutrient to the organisms in the soil.  These organisms are necessary for the health of the landscape,
  • Mulch retains moisture.   The organic matter has a significant ability to hold water and for a prolonged period so less watering!
  • There are many different types of mulch available.  Whether it be bark mulch, leaf mulch or a mixture of both, be sure to chose as fine ground as you can find.  It will break down quicker to provide vital nutrient for the soils.

And remember, pesticides is a thing of the past and absolutely not necessary in any landscape!

Colin Eaton