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Cool-Weather Weeds: 11/5/05 I was searching Ask Jeeves for info on controlling cool-weather weeds and got your article on slugs and snails which has a sentence at the end about cool-weather weeds, but no advice. Could you give me any suggestions on controlling these pesky things? I've tried pulling them, but they just seem to come back even stronger. Is there anything to really eliminate them? Judy
The greatest enemies of cool weather weeds are the mower, string trimmer, and a determined (and dedicated) gardener on her knees...ripping and tearing.
As you've already learned, cool weather types are the ultimate in persistence and endurance...and they produce PRODIGIOUS amounts of seeds in a very short time. If they went to seed in years past...and you've cultivated...there'll be so many of those seeds remaining in the soil that, in the short term, you'll probably see little weed decline for your efforts. (There's an old saying among veteran tillers of the soil: "one year of seeds...seven years of weeds" — and that assumes that they only went to seed once.)
Prevent them from producing seeds with all the determination you can muster...and stay with it. After all those cultivated-in seeds have germinated and been yanked out (that'll take years)...you should be rid of them for good........but if you let a few slip by to make babies, then you start all over again.
Covering the ground with several layers of newspapers or old cardboard, then covering that with mulch (like bark or shredded leaves; and being careful to not introduce any new weed seeds!) will prevent germination of the next generation.
Round-Up is also an option unless the weeds are mixed in with more valuable plantings...or you prefer to avoid using the chemical. Desperate times require desperate action. You be the judge.
Weed-n-Feed in the lawn (but not too close to nearby trees or shrubs) would help. It will destroy everything that isn't grass.
The bottom line.....there is no magic bullet or easy solution. Just keep after them — and make sure you get the roots (all of them).
Good luck! You might want to read the article at: http://www.hillgardens.com/weeds123.htm
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