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Keyword Search Results for:
Weeds

11 Found

Question: 74-5201
I put in a new lawn. Nothing but weeds came up. Should I strip it down? Alec, Mystic, CT

Mort's Answer:
If you do not have 8 inches of loam, forget about growing a lawn and put in a rock garden with pockets of soil for the plants. If a grass root is stifled, the crown will suffer disease. Crabgrass spreads like crazy in hot dry weather. Rather than trying to kill the weeds, I would turn the entire would be lawn over. Cut the entire area as low as possible and rake out the clippings. Rent a heavy duty tiller and turn it in. Plant a new lawn with the necessary depth of soil. I would use 30% perennial rye, 25% blue grass, 15% fescue and 30% winter rye. Next spring and summer keep top dressing with approximately the same proportional formula mix without the rye The best weed control is a good tight lawn. Fertilize this fall with a 8-6-4 formula.

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Question: 1285-3115
We have a weed in our lawn that is persistent. It has white petaled flowers with yellow centers. What is it and how do I get rid of it? Robert, Bellville, Ontario

Mort's Answer:
Wild strawberry survives as an annual by seeding itself. It will dry out in the fall when it will be easer to remove. You can use a small clam rake this summer after a prolonged dry spell. Like the Fragaria species that it resembles, Chenpodium capitatum throws out runners. This makes it difficult to remove but you must be more diligent in your pursuit. You will need to apply grass seed in the holes vacated by the extraction of this weed. If you learn to love them like some folks do with wild violets, your life will be less tried.

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Question: 715-1112
What is a good way to keep out grass and weeds in my perennial beds? Linda, Taylorville, IL

Mort's Answer:
Early and often cultivation is the best way. Putting cornstarch down at this time is an effective organic approach. Preem is another organic powder that works well. Synthetic compounds are also effective but some will inhibit growth of shallow rooted trees.

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Question: 21-1516
I have weeds in the gravel driveway. I do not want to use a commercial herbicide. What else can I use? White vinegar has not been totally effective. Richard, Franklin, CT

Mort's Answer:
Corn starch will form a protective coating in flower and vegetable beds or the lawn.. It will be worn away in the driveway after frequent use. Any acid can be a good substitute and salt brine works well on a hot day. Folks that use clam shells have had success as a medium. If there are not too many, you can remove the more persistent weeds by hand with a grub hoe. If there is not a well nearby, you could chance the commercial formula.

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Question: 245-5201
How can I get rid of weeds in my long crushed stone driveway? Mary, Rochester, MA

Mort's Answer:
You can use any herbicide with good results on a driveway. You can use a preemergent in the spring to discourage seeds. A strong acid like vinegar on a hot day will burn them.

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Question: 246-5201
Can I use vinegar on my lawn to get rid of weeds? Sam, Hanover, NH

Mort's Answer:
I do not recommend vinegar for lawns. It will burn anything. If you do not want to broadcast a herbicide, it can be as effective as target sprays. The best weed control for any lawn is continual top dressing with soil and seed until the lawn is tight enough to starve off the weeds. All treatments are wasted, if you do not have at least eight inches of good top soil before top dressing.

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Question: 779-2712
What can I use in a small area in front of my condo to control weeds around my perennials? Amanda, Norwich , CT

Mort's Answer:
Target sprays work but I much prefer a dust mulch. Because most perennial grow sideways , you can damage them with chemical herbicides. In the early spring you can use Preen or cornstarch as a weed preventer. A dust mulch will allow water to penetrate for optimal growth and keep the surface two inches free of most weeds, if you rake the soil every ten days. Aged wood mulch will also work but I prefer the dust mulch method. I use a four tine clam rake.

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Question: 932-1813
I have a lot of weeds every year around my perennials. I also have landscape rock around them. Is there a spray that I can use to control the weeds? Sharon, Taylorville, IL

Mort's Answer:
Target herbicides like Round Up will kill anything it touches. You need to be very careful using them in the garden. Putting down pre-emergents like Preem work well but you can not disturb the soil. I recommend a dust mulch treatment that involves cultivation every 10 days. You can see a video on our website, themagicgarden.com. Cornstarch is organic and can be used instead of Preem as a way to keep them out before they sprout.

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Question: 950-2313
I heard that vinegar will kill lawn weeds. Can I use it safely? Linda, Pena, IL

Mort's Answer:
It is economical and effective. Use the acid in the hot sun. Others acids will work but you have to careful using them. They can be corrosive. If you use any acid on cement, it must be washed off in a few days. Target sprays usually kill anything they touch. Vinegar will not kill perennial weeds like poison ivy. Systemic sprays are needed on perennials. You need to replace the holes quickly in the lawn after the drying out. Use annual rye at this time of year.

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Question: 1199-4614
Should I pull my weeds now or in the spring? Cliff, Providence, RI

Mort's Answer:
By all means pull them out now, when they are dry and easily extracted. You should also start weeding before they appear in your beds early in the spring. I suggest that you cultivate the soil regularly but use a small clam rake every ten days. This discourages weed seed from sprouting and form a dust mulch for holding more water just under the surface. A weed free bed means more nutrient for your plants and a deterrent to insects and other pathogens in the soil. Many folks use hoes but they often just top dress the weeds.

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Question: 1421-1617
Is corn gluten the best organic product for weed control? Ann, Northeastern, CT

Mort's Answer:
I prefer a dust mulch because it aerates the soil. I used the corn starch last year and it was effective. It works well in perennial beds. It my rose garden, it inhibited the growth on my hybrid tea roses. I am going back to my dust mulch this year. Roses need aeration. I just scarify the top inch or two with my clan rake every 10 days or so. The fluffy top is a quite different density the rest of the lower compacted loam. This allows for good root growth for the roses and discourages weed germination. Corn gluten products work well on lawns to fill bare spots but new grass seed must wait a few weeks to be sowed.

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