This year I think we may finally get a more typical April with some rain (no snow please lol) showers that will bring May flowers! But I’m definitely not complaining…only thing I am complaining about is all the darn weeds that seem to pop up overnight with any warm or rainy weather. But we have still been in a semi-drought since summer 2020 so I will not complain since we do need it. As a friendly reminder to all of our clients that we mulch March-April-May (or if you have beds with stone or walkway/patio joints) this is the perfect time to start your applications of weed control and pre-emergent so that you can protect your spring investment. I start in April and recommend Natria or Roundup and I personally prefer to use Avenger Weed Spray for existing weeds and Preen pre-emergent to assist with discouraging new weeds. It smells like oranges and lemons 🙂 It does have some limitations but seems like the safest alternative if you do not want to use stronger weed sprays around pets and children:
Avenger is a contact herbicide, which means it will not translocate through the plant and therefore may or may not kill the root system. Avenger will only work on weeds and grasses that are 4 inches or smaller in height. Avenger may need to be applied multiple times to get complete control of a weed or grass.
We provide a useful guide to our clients along with a contact for the Green Scene a company that provides bed and area weed control for larger accounts (5000 square feet and more) or if you are too busy (lawns, wood lines, landscape plantings, walkways, patios, pool stone etc.) and here’s a copy for reference: Maintenance-Care-guide-after-mulching
UPDATED June 2023: Welcome to Connecticut-Starts every spring and summer we get the calls for overgrown properties this time of year with last year’s rain and now spring is here seeing invasive weeds and vines like in the photos below. What we recommend is to have the areas sprayed first and then the crew will come in a few weeks later and do selective brush cutting and weed whacking to cleanup areas and mulch. Some areas with extensive poison ivy, poison oak or sumac need to be addressed separately and treated by chemical spraying since this is hazardous to our crews and their equipment. Then afterwards having the client spray it again to maintain these wood line areas and keep vegetation under control. Here’s an article on the top invasive vines we see each season: Invasive Vines CT
Myth on using Landscape Weed Fabric (AKA Landscaper’s gold) and why for over 30 years we do not recommend it to our clients. Just like this article says we often get asked to remove it from properties every year. Click HERE for article.
Weed Control 101
STEP ONE: First up is controlling the weeds you can see growing in your landscape, walkways or walls with a spray for killing live weeds. We recommend using either Roundup Weed Killer or Natria Weed Killer by Bayer or Avenger Organic Weed Killer and there are a number of different kinds depending on what you are looking to get rid of so do your homework and read instructions and use as directed.
Both Roundup and Natria with Root Killer is absorbed by the leaves of the weed/plant and then with sun and warm temperatures the weed will start to die from within all the way to the roots. Then you can just remove or put topsoil or mulch on top of the area as it decomposes. “Work smarter not harder” as Ron the owner likes to say lol.
Believe me It’s a lot easier to pull a dead weed that releases its roots from the soil than a live one that is still clinging on for dear life. After it rains is a great time for pulling weeds as gardeners can attest 🙂
Here is a note from specialist Dave Schwarm of Green Meadow Lawn Care and who is a CT Licensed Ornamental and Turf Supervisor that has been using Roundup by following the directions, wearing protective gear and applying on a dry day with minimal wind: Is Roundup Safe to Use on My Property?
For those of you that still have reservations about using Roundup around children or pets due to all the negative media and controversy that is out there, then I would suggest using the Organic Avenger line of weed control products. It is made out of citrus oils and burns the plant. You may have to use more of it or apply more often but if it gives you piece of mind and takes care of the weeds then go for it. I use this in my yard around my foundation/patio and Roundup for woodline away from house. I order it online (concentrated liquid) to mix with water in a sprayer from Home Depot so easy to apply. The only other recommendation would be good old fashion hand pulling as long as you have the time and patience. But again, pulling live weeds just brings back more but I have heard it’s a gardener’s form of therapy to relieve stress 🙂
Also Check out this article 10 Alternatives to Roundup from Moms Across America. Remember that even if you’re using alternative herbicides, your neighbor may not be. Gardeners, landscapers, and conventional farms could be spraying miles away from your home, but drift could still be impacting your air, water, and soil.
STEP TWO: Weed Pre-Emergent and Preventer: This was something I found many years ago that was a gardener’s secret to keeping their vegetable beds weed free. Preen Weed Preventer is a pre-emergent granule that you sprinkle on soil or mulch, or can sweep into cracks along walks, driveways, or walls and it conditions the area so that new weeds do not grow. How Preen Works Video
Again it works to prevent new weeds and does absolutely nothing to the live green weeds you have. I mention this because I did have a client many years ago that called up complaining that he had put down 4 buckets of the Preen in his beds and the weeds were still there. I asked if he had sprayed weed killer first and he said no I forgot about that part. Preen works by releasing a little bit of itself when activated by water or rain and creates a barrier that works for about 8 to 12 weeks depending on the type you get. Then you reapply again to keep working for another 2-3 months. Click below to identify some of the most common weeds in our area:
Weed Torches: This is also an option depending on location of weeds. Many of our clients have walkways, patios, driveways and stone areas around beds or pools that require additional maintenance especially if you live near a wood line or your mowing company is not blowing the clippings out of the landscaping. Here is a quick info if you’re curious about this chemical free alternative and I remind folks to stay away from vinyl siding, dry mulch, plastic or exposed weed mat or fabric-basically anything that is flammable or can melt 🙂
And lastly, for those of you that live in areas surrounded by woods and thus must battle the yearly bugs like aphids, spider mites, tent caterpillars, and Japanese beetles (just to name a few) here is a product that I recommend for roses and other flowering shrubs to help them battle and recover from these pesky critters. Bayer All in One is spread around the base of the shrub and covered with mulch and works systematically for the next 8-10 weeks and assists the shrub to better protect itself from insects and disease. I use it twice a year on my roses.
Too busy and looking for a company to take care of your lawn fertilization, control weeds in your plantings and apply mosquito or tick applications in your yard? Check out Green Scene out of Manchester or Safe Lawns and Landscapes out of Salem CT. They take care of a number of our clients’ properties and have alternative solutions based on your particular lawn and landscape needs.
If you have any questions, you can also feel free to contact me directly and we can discuss your particular needs over the phone. If your landscape is out of control and needs some TLC give us a call and we can give you an estimate to get it back in check so it’s Picture Perfect again 🙂 Kim