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How To Take Care Of Weeds

(NC)-Their names may be cute and slightly amusing - chickweed, creeping charlie, dandelion, crabgrass - but weeds can be a major annoyance. Left untreated, they spread quickly, fighting the grass for food, light and space. Many of them, like crabgrass, have stems that lie close to the ground making them difficult to cut with a mower. They spread out and smother grass, creating large unsightly patches on the lawn that you worked so diligently to create. 

The healthier your lawn is, the more effectively it can prevent takeover by weeds. Fertilizing is an excellent first step. Applying the right fertilizer, with the optimum mixture of nitrogen, potash and phosphates, four times a year helps make sure your lawn is as healthy as possible. Even so, weeds are sure to put in an appearance. That's when a weed and feed or other weed control product can help. 

There are lots of options for you to choose from. Some are general practitioners, designed for a broad spectrum of weed control. Others are specialists that fight specific weeds like crabgrass. Some combine weed control with lawn food. Others just concentrate on getting rid of the weeds. Some require mixing, others come premixed. 

Once you've found the right product for your situation, be sure to apply it when the weeds are actively growing, ideally in the late spring or early fall. Temperatures should be between 15 and 25 degrees. If it's too hot, or too dry, don't do it as the results may not be satisfactory. 

When applying weed and feed products, it is best to spread them in the morning if possible. "Morning dew helps ensure the pesticide adheres to the weeds," notes Derril Linseman, Product Manager at Home Hardware. Make sure there's a day of clear weather in the forecast. Apply twice, the same way you would with grass seed, using half the recommended rate each time in a criss-cross pattern. Don't water or mow the lawn for several days after application, and in some cases you may want to keep children and pets off the lawn for some time too. 

For more information about maintaining a beautiful lawn and garden, and for the products you need to help you do it, be sure to visit your local Home Hardware or Home Hardware Building Centre. 

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