Using Herbicides Wisely
If you choose to do nothing about weeds, just like a pacifist country, eventually you will be overrun with expansionist opportunists. If you want a nice turf grass lawn, being passive is not an option. If you don’t fight for territory on a regular basis, you will lose the space to weeds and brambles, and eventually tree seedlings. The outdoors is a dynamic environment with shifts in dominance during each season. Know your enemy. If turf weeds are the enemy, then you need to become familiar with how they battle for the ground plane territory of your lawn.
One of your choices when you join in the fray is the level of quality which you are willing to accept. You can decide to accept all green plants that stay under four to six inches in height by simply mowing frequently during the growing season at a set height. That’s fine. Lots of people do this as their single engagement with their lawn. By choosing mowing as your only cultural practice, you are accepting variations in texture and color, along with a significant amount of bare spots in the winter as the summer annual weeds decline. This is a perfectly reasonable choice which complies with local ordinances and most neighborhood covenants.
If you decide to bump up the quality and go for a more uniform look for your lawn, then herbicides need to be added to your arsenal. But, for goodness sake, learn how to use them properly! Follow the label directions. Just as you wouldn’t go into battle shooting randomly in the air rather than targeting the enemy, you shouldn’t start spraying chemicals with abandon. It’s dangerous, and you might end up harming the very thing you’re trying to protect. Hiring mercenaries—lawn care companies might be an effective strategy, but at great cost. They will have their own agenda, and might not be as surgical and eco-friendly as you would like. Here’s how to use herbicides wisely, without having to become a chemical engineer.