Updated: Aug 31, 2018
We are back!
Our mission at Seeds of Change is to instill dignity through creating epiphanies through work — work done with excellence and heart. That’s why we do what we do. We want to go above and beyond for our local Knoxville community. Because of you, we get to instill human dignity and create epiphanies during work that cause life transformation, and as a way to bless you, we’d like to share some of our experiences and expertise.
For that reason, every other Friday, Seeds of Change will now be sharing practical landscape ‘how-to’s’ and stories of the impact that our work is having in the lives of our team members and in our community.
In fact, I thought I would share a little something right now.
Everybody has em…nobody wants em. How do you get rid of em?
First, let’s start with what a weed is. There are many definitions out there but I like to think of it this way, weeds are unintentional plants in a given space which are adapted to survive and even thrive in adverse conditions. They just don’t give up. How do we keep such tough plants from invading our landscapes? The answer is simple, by limiting everything they need to live (light, water, nutrients, and reproductive capacity).
So what’s the solution?
Well, as with any sustainable solution, the long-term approach is generally best. The “easy” way around weed problems is to just hope for the best and spray them once or twice a year and maybe pull the big ones out if time allows. That might make a little progress in the short-term, but for long-term purposes that sets any landscape up for a frustrating fight with weeds.
So what can you do?… Here are five practical Seeds of Change tips for you.
Mulch is our friend. I include landscape fabric in this category too. It is great under mulch as an added layer of protection. That layer of mulch and landscape fabric (whatever type you may have) reduces light exposure. The weeds have a hard time pushing through a healthy layer of premium mulch and the dormant seeds are much less likely to germinate if the mulch is kept thick enough. Most people start experiencing serious weed problems if they do not keep that layer thick enough to block light from reaching the soil beneath.
2. Don’t disturb the soil
Something we have to always remember is the soil is alive. It is full of literally millions of microbes, nutrients, and yes…weed seeds. It is virtually impossible to really get rid of all the weed seeds. As long as they are kept dormant, though, we are okay. So when you are out in your landscape and pulling weeds, planting new plants etc. be careful to not pull soil from beneath the mulch layer up to the top. The more you keep down there the better.
3. Think Small
When it comes to controlling weeds, it is vital to kill them when they're small. Not only is this easier on the body, but it also prevents the weeds from going to seed and spreading like…well…a weed. Trust me, I’m a gardener, I know.
4. Know your weeds.
There are two broad categories of plants: monocots and dicots. Monocots are usually annuals and have a spreading root system (ex. grasses) whereas dicots are usually perennials and have a taproot (ex. dandelion). Monocots will spread thousands of seeds if left alone too long. Dicots are tough to terminate because that taproot really holds on and if some is left in the soil the plant will revive. Use a trowel or other deep-digging tool for dicots or better yet pull them when they’re young.
5. Tight = less light.
When designing and implementing your landscape, try to minimize large areas of unnecessarily exposed space. Anywhere the light reaches will be the first problem areas. Landscapes with ample plants will experience less weeds because the weeds simply cannot survive without sunlight.
There you have it! There is much more to be said on weed control, but that should get you started. Check back every other Friday for more Seeds of Change tips!
Landscaping Division Manager
Seeds of Change