T&N Lawn Care
Proper lawn management increases weed control success! Proper lawn cutting heights are important when it comes to weed prevention. Lawn scalping refers to cutting your lawn grass to low, so low that you expose the stems of your grass blades. I advise against scalping your lawn due to its damaging effects on the health of your lawn. One problem is that grass blades photosynthesize to provide food to the roots. By chopping off the majority of this blade, you reduce the amount of energy the roots receive, and this makes for a weak lawn that is more susceptible to stress, insects and disease. Another problem with scalping is it encourages weed growth. Without the dense grass blades to block light, weed seeds are allowed to germinate and grow. In a scalped lawn, weeds can quickly dominate. Also, although not a problem in mild areas, the exposed stems of scalped lawns can be damaged by a sudden spring frost. We at T&N Lawn Care take weed control very seriously so you don't have to.
While some weeds are not particularly aggressive and blend in with the surrounding plants, making them hardly noticeable, others are distinctly destructive. Invasive weeds are often very noticeable with different textures, colors and growth habits. These weeds can overtake your lawn or garden in a single growing season leaving it unattractive and sparse. Some weeds can also be harmful if eaten by pets and livestock.
Definition of a Weed
Weeds are generally plants that have absolutely no redeeming value as far as food, nutrition or medicine are concerned. They have accelerated growth patterns and often leave seeds to perpetuate their kind. Weeds are often poisonous if eaten, taste bad, have thorns or other physical features making them difficult to remove.
Compete for Nutrients
Weeds compete with flowers, grasses, vegetable and fruit plants for water, sunlight and nutrients leaving non-weed plants starving. This loss of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium leaves them weak and prone to insect and disease infestation. Because most weeds grow at such an astounding rate, they often absorb more of one nutrient than another, leaving an imbalance. This overwhelms other plants often causing abnormal color, flower and fruit growth.
Compete for Space
The devastation that invasive weeds inflict is well documented, particularly because they are so successful in competing for space if not kept in check. Particularly devastating are invasive weeds that take over areas outside of its natural habitat. These weeds are all the more successful in killing neighboring plants as insects, disease and local wildlife generally stay away from something that is not familiar.
Plants that are not necessarily considered a weed in the true sense, can also wreak havoc on neighboring plants by attaching themselves and sapping its nutrients. These parasitic plants are either stem or root parasites, with the root variety being more common. Mistletoe (Viscum album) is a prime example of a parasitic plant that attaches itself to a host plant in order to obtain water and nutrients. Mistletoe can leave a host plant weak, causing it to eventually succumb to starvation, disease or pest infestation.