Here's a clever article about weed prevention from Susan Donaldson at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension written for the Reno Gazette-Journal.
I know it's past time to set New Year's resolutions, but one might have slipped past you.
How about resolving to do a better job controlling your weeds next growing season? Or maybe there's another way to look at it -- what can you do to help your weeds flourish? If you understand what encourages weed growth, you'll know what not to do this year.
Here's a 10-step program to ensure hearty weeds. If that's not your goal, please don't follow these steps.
- Ignore your landscape. Spend as much time as possible in the house so you won't have to see any of those nasty weeds. Wait as long as possible to control them, so that it's extra difficult.
- Clear every speck of vegetation off your property. The bare ground is like a magnet for weeds. They'll come and fill the voids before you know it.
- Don't worry about identifying individual weeds. You can use a one-size-fits-all approach to controlling them -- think shotgun approach.
- Who cares how they reproduce? Just pull them all, including the weeds that spread from root fragments. They can't really be that good at growing back, can they?
- Wait to control the weeds until they've set seed and dried out. That way, you can make sure there's a lot of seed in the soil so the weeds will grow next year.
- Use the cheapest fill dirt and mulch you can find. So what if it's full of weed seeds and roots?
- Plant invasive vegetation. It'll take over and fill all that bare ground.
- Water your weeds. After all, it's too much trouble to restrict irrigation water to just the plants you want.
- When using the chemical shotgun approach, spray everything in sight. Use more than the label says. Spray repeatedly. Ignore the advice on the label. (At this point, I have to advise you that the information on the label is a legal requirement. If you don't follow it carefully, you could be in violation of the law, with large fines and penalties possible. So please don't take my tongue-in--cheek steps seriously!)
- When using pre-emergence herbicides, apply them anytime. Who cares if the weeds have already sprouted. And don't worry about watering them according to label directions -- that doesn't apply to me, does it?
Now that you know how to make your weeds grow, you can start to develop a plan to accomplish just the opposite. Monitor your landscape early and often. Some weeds sprout in February. By learning more about the weeds on your property, you'll be able to identify the best control methods. Once they start to grow, bring samples of the weeds to Cooperative Extension, 5305 Mill St., and we'll identify them for free and provide control recommendations.