Weeds, every lawn has them. Our blogger, Dan Chilton
examined some alternative strategies for killing weeds
without resorting to the use of expensive lawn care chemicals. Based on Dan's inspiration, I thought I'd give you a look at one of my "stay green
" strategies for dealing with the nastiest weeds that pop up repeatedly in the middle of your yard. The trick to permanently eliminating your toughest weeds is to make sure that any root which remains in the ground cannot regenerate.
Stop that weed(click thumbnails to view gallery)
With a shovel, I make a slice into the soil at the base of my target weed. I try to angle the shovel so I intersect the weed root at a point at least four inches below the soil surface. When I am certain the the weed root is severed, I carefully lift the shovel full of turf away from the hole. In the hole we see the severed end of the weed root. For weeds such as mature dandelions and thistles, that root stub could be as large as one inch in diameter and could extend as far as 24 inches further into the ground.
Next, I clear away the soil in the hole a little bit so the weed root stub is sticking out. I cover the root stub and surrounding hole area with a generous amount of salt. I then put enough soil back into the hole to cover the root stub and I apply another layer of salt. After the salting process is done, I remove the surface portion of the weed from my shovel full of turf and then put the turf back into the hole. Keeping the area lightly watered for a few days helps the roots of the grass to reestablish themselves after being cut with the shovel.
The salt has two effects when used in this manner. First, the salt creates a mini-environment which is extremely inhospitable to plant roots. Second, the salt binds and holds the nutrients that it comes in contact with, making them unavailable for use by an especially robust weed root. Therefore, by the time the salt has disbursed into the surrounding soil and become ineffective at control, the weed root has already withered and died. The nice part about this whole concept is that because salt is not a toxin, any trees or shrubs which have roots passing through the area of the salted hole remain completely unaffected by the presence of the salt because they have more extensive root systems to utilize.