Now that you've moved into the house you found among Wichita homes for sale, you've probably got big plans to improve your home's interior, as well as the landscaping. Since it's almost summer, we're guessing you've started on some outdoor projects, such as getting the lawn shipshape and maybe creating some flowerbeds front and back.
No doubt your mind is full of colorful banks of flowers and a lush expanse of lawn, some artfully trimmed shrubs, and graceful, shading trees. But it doesn't matter where you are; the reality is that you will have to deal with weeds. A beautiful landscape doesn't happen without addressing the presence of weeds and how to get rid of them.
You'll be treating weeds in the lawn and flower beds differently, so we'll divide our tips between the two. Following are some suggestions compiled by our real estate agents on dealing with our Kansas weeds.
- Improve your soil for great grass.
It's a bit late to get your turfgrasses growing in good health, which is the best way to keep weeds from intruding in your grass. Concentrate on balancing nutrients and improving the soil. Do so, and you'll have less need for harmful chemical applications. Buy a soil test at the garden supply store and see if your soil needs amendments. Apply what's needed.
- Crowd out weeds.
If you don't know what kind of grass you have (you may have two types—warm season and cool season), find out from a turf supplier and plant turf in any bare spots to keep out weeds. Pull weeds by hand if they're not too bad; otherwise, every spring, you may need a pre-emergent to inhibit weeds before they get going. The best tip is to keep your lawn fertilized and well-watered but not overwatered. A healthy, thick lawn will crowd out weeds, so it's less work for you and less need for chemical applications.
A word on herbicides: Be very careful with applying herbicides, sticking with organics that are less harmful to beneficial creatures.
Aerate the lawn in mid-summer, and don't mow more than a third of the blade length at a time.
- Suppress weed growth with barriers rather than chemicals.
In your flower beds, lay down newspaper, cardboard, or a commercial weed barrier. Add mulch on top. Be advised that these barriers will work for a season or so, but in time, weed seeds will accumulate on top and grow through the barriers. You may need some organic pre-emergent next spring to keep the weeds down. But for this year, keep adding mulch over the growing season as it breaks down.
- Grow plants close together.
Just as a healthy lawn can suppress weeds, so can intensive gardening in flower beds—that is, growing plants close together so they can crowd out weeds. You may need to do some weeding over time, but as the plants grow, they will shade out intruders if you're diligent.
- Use water—or lack of it—to control weeds.
Watering weeds will encourage them to grow, so make sure you're not doing so with your sprinkler system. However, if it's dry times and you've got some weeds going, you may want to get that area damp to extract weeds more easily. The idea is to pull out the root and all and not leave any bits behind to regrow.
We're thrilled you've chosen the Wichita area to set down roots. Questions? Contact us today.