You may have noticed that the recent combination of sun and rain has given every variety of weed, a renewed lease of life. Without management it is easy to get overrun. If you are keen to get on top of weeds at your site here are our top tips:
- Herbicides can be used at various stages in the life cycle of a site:
- Full clearance of green growth before construction.
- To remove weeds from grass areas.
- To kill weeds from hard surfaces to leave a clean and tidy finish.
- Some chemicals are more appropriate than others, depending on the situation and category of weed. By definition, a total herbicide will kill off all the grass on a lawn, but a selective herbicide will literally select certain weeds; leaving healthy grass to thrive.
- Most systemic herbicides will work on the metabolism or growing process of the weed or plant concerned. This occasionally means that weeds will need to be visible before they can be treated, with the chemical killing the weed down to the root over a period of up to 3 weeks. Be aware, if there is one thing less attractive than a green weed, it’s a brown one!
It is important not to obsess about a few weeds in your lawn or pathway. After all, a weed is defined as any plant growing where it is not wanted. They are not inherently bad.
Some weeds, however, can be an indicator of a larger problem that may need to be remedied and knowing what type of weed you’re dealing with is the first step in being able to address a weed problem.
There are three types of lawn weeds:
- Broadleaf weeds: encompass every other type of weed including chickweed, dandelion and clover
- Grassy weeds: invasive, fast-growing grasses like Crabgrass and goose grass
- Grass-like weeds: weeds with upright growth and narrow leaf blades like sedges and wild onion
Weeds can further be classified by how they complete their life cycle.
- Annuals start from seed and complete their life cycle in one growing season. Cool season annuals germinate in late summer or fall, go dormant for the winter, flower in spring or early summer, then die. Warm season annuals germinate during the spring or summer, flower, and die at the end of that growing season.
- Biennials require two years to complete their life cycle. They grow vegetatively during the first season and flower and die during the second year.
- Perennials live for multiple seasons and can flower every year.
Added in to this mix, nowadays we get the invasive weeds, which grow in the gaps of concrete slabs or paving. These can include shooting suckers from trees, weeds or grass or even some of the nicer specimen plants which have seeded from areas nearby and found a gap to germinate and form a root, stem and shoot.
Some weeds, like Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed and Marestail are potentially hazardous to buildings, with roots that will undermine foundations. These weeds need to be treated carefully using experts. More information can be found on Environment agency website http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/wildlife/130079.aspx