Home Garden and Landscape Management

Jessica Green and Ed Peachey
June 2015

Annual and especially perennial weeds require a year-round approach combining several weed control practices into an integrated weed management program. Year-round weed management in home landscapes requires a combination of good practices, common sense, knowledge of weed biology, and use of as many weed control options as possible. The choice of weed control options available to you will depend on your site-specific issues and your ability to complete timely and often repetitious tasks. All weeds, if left unmanaged, reduce the value of the land they occupy. Consider the following steps in designing a year-round weed management approach for home landscapes and gardens:

Design your landscape In home gardens, orchards, or berry patches, weed control activities can be minimized with careful selection of weeding methods that are compatible with your needs and the desirable plants. Grouping plants that require similar weed control practices will improve efficiencies. Combine several weed control practices into a year-round weed management program designed to prevent weed growth. The goal of any landscape should be to enhance crop vigor while minimizing weed growth.

Know your weeds Accurate weed identification is essential for successful weed management in home landscapes and gardens. Learn to identify common weeds by obtaining copies of weed identification publications listed at the end of this section. Also, consult your local Extension office and Master Gardeners, as well as local nurseries and lawn and garden stores.

Perennial weeds are particularly difficult to control in horticultural sites. Once established, most contain large storage organs such as roots, rhizomes, tubers, or trunks and vines. Some contain thorns, one or more are poisonous, and most are extremely vigorous.

Learn to identify mature and seedling weeds. Correct identification of perennials in the seedling stage can provide control options while the plant is small and vulnerable. After weeds become established as perennials, control options are limited to brief stages within the weed life cycle. Control practices often must be repeated or combined with other methods for maximum control.