Guest Author: Luis Alberto Simauchi Jr.
When tending a family garden, proper care of the areas around your plants is required. Normally pulling weeds is sufficient but on occasion, there are those persistent strains of weed that may require more thorough methods of removal to ensure a healthy garden. A very good preventative (and relatively cheap) measure is to place mulch around your plants; this makes it harder for small weeds to grow due to the weight of the mulch above them and the reduction of sunlight exposure provided by said mulch. Even if a couple stubborn weeds did manage to pop their ugly heads above the mulch, you still have the option to pull them out or spray them with a non-selective weed killer.
Weeds are almost always bad for every home garden or flower bed. They use up much needed nutrients and minerals that other plants need and in severe cases, that includes water and possibly sunlight that would feed other plants. Planning the landscape of your garden can also be helpful to deter weeds (as well as insects) from thriving near your home. And on the subject of insects, by keeping weeds out of the garden, one goes a long way towards keeping pest from the garden as well.
Inexperienced weed pulling is often ineffective and in the long term it can take too much time especially if you are maintaining a large property or have weeds that are particularly difficult to remove. In such cases you can use a weed killer. Non selective weed killers are designed to kill any plants they are sprayed on down to the root. When using these kinds of weed killers always exercise caution and follow the directions.
One of the best non selective herbicides to use is a glyphosate based herbicide, these herbicides will kill any plant they are sprayed on, but you should take proper precautions. Even though it is designed to kill plants it could potentially harm your skin, it always a safe assumption that any type of herbicides and pesticides could cause harm to your skin.
Some herbicide safety tips
Own a set of ‘landscaping’ clothes, using light breathable clothing that covers your arms to your wrist, and your legs to your ankle. These clothes will be your gardening clothes, they don’t need to be expensive or fancy, make sure they are comfortable above all else! Normally the precautions only require glove use if it takes longer than thirty minutes, but I always wear gloves regardless of duration.
If you are treating a very large area with a sprayer designed for spraying a large amount of glyphosate herbicide, then you will need some protective equipment for your eyes and your lungs. You can use a respirator mask and goggles. DO NOT go cheap on your safety, spending fifty dollars for a good mask is better than being hospitalized with burning lungs and red eye balls, and even if you recover you will be stuck with a $25,750 hospital bill! Always take whatever measures are needed to protect yourself when doing any kind of do it yourself pest control. As a final note on the matter, you may also need to take note of the weather. On a windy day sprays can fall on not only yourself, but on other plants that you may want to keep!
Luis Alberto Simauchi Jr. is an inbound marketing specialist at Do My Own Pest Control