After several late-season snowstorms, it seemed like spring would never come to Minnesota. But warm weather is finally here, which means that it’s time to get outside! Summer is short around here, so don’t spend these precious months battling weeds. With these tips from The Family Handyman, you can rid your lawn of weeds once and for all, leaving you free to truly enjoy summer with a healthy lawn and garden.
Apply mulch – but not landscape fabric
A 3 to 4 inch layer of mulch will keep most weeds from sprouting, and will improve the overall health of plants by increasing moisture retention. However, don’t go deeper than 6 inches, and don’t mulch too close to the base of plants in order to prevent rot.
Contrary to popular belief, landscape fabric should not be used under mulch. It makes weeding difficult, and prevents mulch from organically decomposing and mixing with soil. Only use fabric under stones and gravel.
Use a preemergent herbicide
The best and easiest way to prevent weeds is to keep them from growing altogether. After the second mowing of the spring, apply a preemergent herbicide to prevent crabgrass seeds from germinating.
Don’t cut grass too short
Longer grass is stronger and thicker, effectively crowding out weeds. Aim for about two inches. In general, improving the health of your lawn will be the best possible weed preventer.
Opt for plants
Grass needs a good amount of sun to grow. If you have shady spots in your yard, consider planting hardy, shade-loving ground covers instead of grass. Other alternatives, like rocks or mulch, will also work in these difficult spots. And this will cut down on your mowing time!