published Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Five tips for controlling weeds

  • photo
    Nutsedge, a grassy-looking weed, is light green and grows fast.
    Staff File Photo/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Weeds may be "the scourge of every gardener," but they can be controlled, said Tim Holcomb, owner of Holcomb Garden Centers.

Containing them is the tricky part. "I heard one new gardener say that they were going to plant weeds and let a garden take over," he said.

Holcomb said he's always fielding questions from gardeners about what exactly are weeds.

His answer? Any plant growing where you do not want it to grow is a weed.

"We break down most common weeds into broadleaf weeds and grassy weeds," he said. "We can control most weeds with either pre-emergent or post-emergent weed controls. The area of control must be considered as well; for example, lawn area, flower and shrub area, or vegetable garden area."

The following tips are for specific situations. To get the best results, it's important to use the right products and apply them at the right time.

"Many products for lawns should not be used in a landscape bed or vegetable garden," Holcomb said. "For more detailed information about weed control, see lawn experts at your local garden centers." You can get more garden tips at www.HolcombGC.com.

FIVE TIPS

1 Weedy lawn. Now is a great time to kill the broadleaf weeds in your yard so you will be ready to reseed your lawn in September. Fertilome Weed Free Zone will control most all broadleaf weeds, even tough ones like ground ivy and wild violets. Mix your weed killer with a spreader sticker for best results, and apply when there will be no rain for a couple of days.

2 Nutsedge. This grassy-looking weed is light green and grows fast, causing you to have to mow more frequently. Nutsedge has triangle-shaped stems. You must use a product specifically designed for it such as Hi-Yield Nutsedge Control and Spreader Sticker.

3 Total lawn renovation. If you just need to kill everything and start over this fall, now is the time to spray Hi-Yield KillzAll Plus Spreader Sticker. This nonselection herbicide will kill weeds and grass, giving you a fresh, clean start for reseeding this September.

4 Grass taking over flowers. The Hi-Yield Grass Killer Plus Spreader Sticker will kill Bermuda grass in your plant beds and gardens with no harm to your flowers, perennials or vegetables. A light spraying over the top of your flower bed or landscape beds is more effective than hand pulling, and it's much easier. Within 10 to 14 days, you will have dead grass.

5 Preventing weeds. The old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is very true in weed control. For lawns, a good pre-emergent this fall will stop annual bluegrass in a Bermuda lawn. A good pre-emergent should be used next spring to stop crabgrass. In flower beds and landscape areas, use a weed and grass stopper containing the herbicide Dimension every fall and spring to stop cool-weather weeds and warm-weather weeds. In the vegetable garden, apply a weed and grass stopper containing Treflan as soon as your garden is planted to prevent weeds and grasses from taking over your vegetables.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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