- How To Kill Weeds
Weed killers belong in a discussion of soils for several reasons. For one, modern chemical weed controls introduce problems of toxic residues, which may produce either short or long-term injury to desirable plants as well as weeds.
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For another, deep-rooted weeds such as bindweed, Canada thistle and nut grass often make a soil unusable for gardening until they can be exterminated, by weed killers.
Third, the amazing longevity of certain weed seeds in soils is a factor in gardening.
Longevity of weed seeds is a serious problem and one which often determines how a certain soil should be treated for lawn or garden purposes. It often becomes critical when a home owner, following "curbstone advice" from neighbors, insists upon buying a load of "good black dirt" to start his new lawn, bringing in someone else's accumulated weed seeds to further complicate matters.
My own most striking experience with seed persistence was with crabgrass. In laying a new water line to my home, plumbers uncovered an old carriage drive which must have been laid down either in 1868 when the house was built, or in 1900 when it was remodeled. Underneath the old bricks was rich black prairie loam. I dug this out and spread it over my vegetable plot. This was done in early spring, before any crabgrass plant could have contaminated the soil with fresh seed. Nevertheless, that spring, a heavy crop of crabgrass sprang up from this long-buried soil. Thus those seeds retained their viability for a very long time indeed.
Weed control is closely connected to soil care. The finest Gardener's Loam is not worth much if blighted by weeds. With the help of a great and ever-increasing selection of weed killer chemicals, the home owner can bar many kinds of undesirable plants from his lawn and garden. It can be done in three "stages": sterilizing the soil, killing germinating seed, and destroying mature weed plants. But weed-killing chemicals, too, present potential hazards from the build-up of toxic residues in the soil. In any event, the faithful observance of instructions on the package will assure maximum protection as well as value to the user, to the plantings being treated, and to the soil itself.
Pre-emergent Weed Killer and Crabgrass Control - how to use pre-emergent weed killer for controlling crabgrass.
Weed Killers - recommended chemical weed killers and the approach to using them.
Crabgrass Control - want a lawn without the dreaded crabgrass?
What Does Crabgrass Look Like? - you can't control it if you can't recognise it.
Crabgrass Killer Strategy - my strategy from extensive post and pre-emergent testing.
Toxic Residue In Soil - it pays to be aware of not only the short term, but long term effects of weed killing products