The Province of Ontario has banned chemical pest control and while the new organic alternatives are very effective, they do not provide the immediate results of the past. “There are no more magic bullets,” as Kyle our CEO likes to say. What this means for proper weed management in Ontario is that more than one application of an approved weed killer will be necessary to deal with weeds in your lawn. And there is a higher probability of airborne weed seeds from untended and wild areas reaching your property. Good weed-fighting cultural habits by homeowners are more important than ever to deal with weeds in your Ontario lawn.
While any good lawn care professional near you will make sure he has the best weed management product on the market for his clients, organic products have many more limitations on their use. Many cannot be used during some parts of the year, require a lot of aftercare and follow up, or there is a limit to the total amount that can be used on a lawn each year. So what any Ontario homeowner does between visits from a qualified lawn care expert makes a big difference for the results he or she can expect.
Above everything of course, healthy lawns have fewer problems. Mowing and watering properly will keep your grass growing vigorously, leaving fewer places where weeds can start. Here are some other tactics that will minimize the introduction and spread of weeds and weed grasses.
Steps For Managing Weeds Effectively
- Decapitate them! Many weeds spread only by seed. Dandelions are well known for this. They sprout white puffs containing hundreds of seeds that can be carried for miles by the wind. But no flower means no seed. Removing weed flowers as they appear is fast, easy and makes the weed waste energy growing another blossom.
- Mowing weeds works, when done strategically. Many believe that mowing weeds spreads them; but Rosette weeds like dandelion, thistle, and plantain can be kept in check by regular mowing to remove flowers and injure the leaves. For creeping weeds like creeping charlie, black medic, and clover, make sure to attach a collection bag to the mower. Often these weeds can re-root and spread from cuttings and seeds; so it is important to bag your grass clippings if you have weeds instead of mulching them. And, nobody said you had to mow your whole lawn. A quick run along the sidewalk where some persistent plantain is trying to go to seed only takes minutes. Grass LIKES being cut frequently.
- Avoid outside contamination. Do weed seeds blow in through your back fence all year from an untended field? A small investment in a screen hedge now will save you untold aggravation later. Do you have local lawn care professionals mow your lawn? Make sure they hose off their equipment between jobs so your lawn does not host seeds from an unmanaged lawn three blocks over.
- Pull sparingly, and if you do, patch afterwards. Pulling is not a good long-term fix. Many weeds can grow back from a fragment of taproot left behind. With creeping weeds, it is very hard to get the whole colony. In either case, pulling the weed often leaves a shallow pit full of loose soil. This is a perfect home for a new weed seed. If you are pulling weeds, just pull the top off. Healthy grass should crowd out that area, and sprinkle some grass seed in the vacant spot and care for it as you would any new seed. Let the plant you want, live in that spot.
Lawnsavers is an award winning lawn care company in Ontario that can help with weed issues or any other pest that could be causing your lawn to look less than perfect. Contact us today if you are looking for help with your lawn.