published Saturday, March 19th, 2011

5 tips on managing a weed-free lawn

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    Unwanted purple dead nettle thrives in a garden that will soon be tilled for spring planting. An annual herb, this member of the mint family can thrive in most situations and soils. Staff Photo by Karen Nazor Hill/Chattanooga Times Free Press

To some people, weeds are beautiful. To others, they are the work of the devil.

But, in reality, what is a weed?

“A weed is any plant that’s growing where you do not want it to grow,” said Tim Holcomb, owner of Holcomb Garden Center.

“Therefore, one man’s weed is another man’s flower.”

Getting rid of weeds takes planning, he said.

“Weeds do not just go away on their own,” he said. “With proper products and proper timing, you can keep your weeds to a minimum and enjoy a weed-free lawn and garden.”

FIVE TIPS

1. Some lawn weeds are easy to control. Others need a little more attention. Some of the toughest to control are wild onions, wild violets and ground ivy. Weed killers, such as Fertilome Weed-Free Zone, work in cool and warm weather, control even tough weeds and allow reseeding within two to three weeks after use. Because wild onions and wild violets have a very waxy surface, combine Weed-Free Zone with Spreader-Sticker to get the best results. Apply when it’s not going to rain for a couple of days.

2. Use weed and grass preventers to stop crabgrass and summer weeds from sprouting now. Dimension will stop many weeds and grasses from germinating and will control some even in the first couple of weeks after germination. It works well on the lawn and landscaped areas around your home.

3. Tilling initially will help kill weeds in a vegetable garden. If you need to spray, use a glyphosate product like Kill-Zall. This nonselective weed-and-grass killer will control most weeds on contact without harming the soil or nearby plants. Once weeds are gone, use a preventer approved for vegetable gardens such as Hi-Yield Weed and Grass Stopper with Treflan.

4. Organic gardeners typically control weeds by physically pulling them up. However, there is an Espoma Earth-tone 4-in-1 weed-control spray that works well for spot treatment. As a preventative, consider corn gluten to stop weed and grass. While not as effective as Dimension or Treflan, it is an organic option.

5. To control moss, which grows in the sun or shade in damp or dry areas and typically in acid soils, improve soil drainage and adjust the soil pH to less acidic. A lawn food with moss control works well to control existing moss and can be reapplied as needed. Visit holcombgc.com for more information.

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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