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Weed Management and Control Information
weed control and prevention
Weeds are the opportunists of the plant world. There are two kinds: annual and perennial. Annual weeds usually occur where annual plants are grown, in response to the methods used to grow the plants you want. Everyone has had experience with weeds in the flowerbed or vegetable garden. Occasionally, because of nearby lawns, perennials (like grasses or the weeds in them, which are perennials) can invade annual plantings. They grow rapidly, producing a huge amount of seed if allowed to mature. Perennial weeds sprout up where perennial plants are grown, and are much more difficult to eradicate because they grow slowly, have taproots or matted roots, which allow them to keep coming back year after year. The usual perennial plant almost everyone grows is a lawn…and the weeds like crabgrass or dandelion have these characteristics.

Weeds tend to arrive on the wind or on people or animals as seeds. Occasionally seeds are in the materials we innocently add. We do not mean for them to grow, they just do. Here are some things to avoid their invasions. The location is the best way to discuss prevention and control, so divisions for lawn/turf, gardens/annuals, perennial landscapes, and fields/crops are below.

Lawn/Turf Weed Prevention
Invasion of weeds into lawns or turf is usually a sign of a fundamental weakness in the grass due to such factors as insects, diseases, plant parasitic nematodes, inadequate watering, improper mowing, poor fertilization, or incorrect pH.

Lawn/Turf Weed Control

  • Planning for a healthy lawn is the best prevention. Use Root Maximizer, Kelp Meal and EM-1.
  • Use pre-emergent corn gluten meal early before weeds emerge in the spring.
  • Use post-emergent herbicides like Avenger Organic Weed Killer with proper shielding, since it is non-selective.
  • Hand-weed the tough perennials like dandelions or crabgrass. Make sure and get all the root(s) so the weed will not return.
  • Be sure to pull or spray your weeds before they make seed and spread to other areas.
  • Depending on the flower/seed height of the weed, keeping grass cut short can successfully keep weeds from seeding.

Gardens/Annuals Weed Prevention
Invasion of weeds into gardens or other annual flowerbeds happens when bare earth, moist conditions, and adequate sunlight and rich fertilization just beg the weed seeds to germinate. Prevent this from happening with the following good garden practices:

  • Fertilize around plants rather than the entire garden area. This allows less nitrogen or ammonia from organic fertilizers in the walkway areas, and weed seeds will not be as likely to germinate.
  • Mulch the area to keep germination low. Use ARBICO compost.
  • Plant your crops or flowers closer together; their height and shadows will reduce sunlight for weed seed germination.
  • Rotate your annual flowers and your garden crops. This will discourage the germination of seeds that have gone dormant.
  • Do not till deeper than a few inches. Weed seeds will germinate if they have been tilled in deeply, go dormant, and then are re-tilled to the surface.
  • In your garden space, if you do not grow a winter crop, consider sowing our Good Bug Blend in the fall. Plan to till it under just as you plant your spring crop. Several plants in it have a natural seed-deterrent effect for the next spring. It should last until your garden veggies are big enough to shade out weed seed germination.
Gardens/Annuals Weed Control
  • Hand-weed annuals while they are small; do not allow them to make seeds.
  • If hand-weeding is not possible, apply post-emergent herbicides like Avenger Organic Weed Killer with proper shielding, since it is non-selective.
  • Hand-weed the tough perennials like dandelions or crabgrass. Make sure to get all the root(s) so the weed(s) will not return.
Perennial Landscapes Weed Prevention
  • Keep the perennials properly watered and the soil at the proper pH.
  • Fertilize around plants rather than the entire landscape area.
  • Mulch the area to keep germination low. Use ARBICO compost.
  • Good weed control in contiguous grass areas will eliminate seed migration from these areas.
Perennial Landscapes Weed Control
  • Hand-weed annuals while they are small; do not allow them to make seeds.
  • If hand-weeding is not possible, apply post-emergent herbicides like Avenger Organic Weed Killer with proper shielding, since it is non-selective.
  • Hand-weed the tough perennials like dandelions or crabgrass. Make sure and get all the root(s) so the weed(s) will not return.
Fields/Crops Weed Prevention
  • Collect data from each year to evaluate what has happened and project what you may need to do in the future.
  • Rotate crops to disrupt weed germination and growth cycles.
  • Use cover crops during the winter. Their properties can suppress weeds the next spring. Always select the cover crop based on the next crop that will be planted in the spring. 
  • Fertilize in bands rather than the whole field. Nitrogen and ammonia can increase weed seed germination.
  • Choose planting patterns that diminish weed growth. This includes density of planting, row width and selecting fast-growing crops. Together these work to reduce the amount of light for weed germination.
  • Do not till deeper than a few inches. Weed seeds will germinate if they have been tilled in deeply, go dormant, and then are re-tilled to the surface.
Fields/Crops Weed Control
  • Choose a type of harrowing that will work with your crop to uproot small weeds that have germinated.
  • Apply post-emergent herbicides like Avenger Organic Weed Killer with proper shielding, since it is non-selective.
  • After harvesting hay or cereal crops, mow the stubble in August to reduce weed growth.
  • Plant a cover crop for the winter. Consider sowing our Good Bug Blend in the fall. Plan to till it under just as you plant your spring crop. Several plants in it have a natural seed-deterrent effect for the next spring.
See All Weed Control and Prevention Products
See ARBICO's weed control and prevention products.
Lawn and turf weed control
Keep lawns properly watered, fertilized and disease/insect free to prevent weeds. See our 4 Steps to a Successful Lawn for more lawn care and weed prevention information.
mulch helps prevent weeds
Adding mulch to your garden will help prevent weeds from germinating. Use Arbico's Compost Plus.
plant close together to prevent weeds
Plant your crops or flowers closer together; their height and shadows will reduce sunlight for weed seed germination.
fertilizer bands help prevent weeds in crops
For field and crop weed prevention fertilize in bands rather than the whole field. Nitrogen and ammonia can increase weed seed germination.