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Preventing weed growth a priority

Weeds in a lawn or garden can be an unsightly and potentially unhealthy nuisance. No gardener enjoys seeing weeds spring up throughout his or her carefully planted garden, as such uninvited guests rob a well-tended garden of its aesthetic appeal. In addition, weeds can steal valuable water and nutrients from plants, prohibiting their growth as a result.

Homeowners who understand how harmful weeds can be can prevent them in a variety of ways. Where weed growth is insignificant, it might be possible to simply pull them out of the ground before they can do any substantial damage. In areas of heavy weed growth, however, a more concentrated effort must be made to prevent further weed growth once the weeds have been removed. The following are a few ways homeowners can prevent weeds from growing throughout their lawns.

•Be proactive. Preventing weed growth is a proactive job, so homeowners want to be proactive to keep weeds from infesting their property. Proper and routine lawn maintenance might be all it takes. Add quality topsoil to your lawn or garden to produce a healthier surface that makes it more difficult for weeds to grow. As the season progresses, continue to maintain your lawn by mowing and watering.

•Aerate the soil at the onset of the season. Aerating your lawn at the dawn of the mowing season helps break up soil that grew compacted over the winter. Once aerated, the soil can disperse nutrients, oxygen and water more effectively, allowing healthier roots to grow and reducing the risk of weed growth as a result.

•Fertilize the lawn. Fertilizer helps grass grow in thick and dense, which leaves little to no room for the growth of weeds. While fertilizer does not necessarily guarantee that weeds won't grow, it does go a long way toward helping a lawn grow in healthy, and a healthy lawn is often a weed's worst enemy. Some fertilizers on the market are a combination of fertilizer and weed preventer, and such products might be ideal for homeowners who are especially concerned about weed growth. The lifespan of weed preventers varies, so keep in mind that you might need to reapply a weed preventer in a few months to keep getting the same results. Fertilizing is typically done twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall.

•Lay down landscape fabric. Landscape fabric is another weed prevention alternative that can prevent weed growth for several years. Before laying down landscape fabric, which is perhaps most commonly used in flower beds, remove all weeds and other vegetation you do not wish to grow. You will likely need to cut the fabric to the area you want it to cover and cut an opening for plants and flowers. The fabric is then typically covered with mulch, which keeps the fabric in place.

Landscape fabric is effective because it blocks the sun from reaching any area that it's covering while still allowing air, water and nutrients to penetrate and reach the soil. Weeds need sun to grow, so landscape fabric can be highly effective at preventing weed growth.

Weeds are an unsightly nuisance that homeowners would prefer to do without. Preventing weed growth is relatively easy, and, in many cases, your efforts can bear fruit through the entire season.




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