It is to despair. No sooner has the annoying dandelion been pricked off and the white goose foot pulled out of the ground with its roots than the unwanted guests report back a few meters away. Weeds are the gardener's natural enemy. Especially friends of well-groomed ornamental lawns regularly bring worry lines to the forehead of plantain, common burnet, clover and the like. They are tough, hardy and undemanding. And that's exactly the problem. Once they have conquered the meadow, you can only get the troublemakers under control with great effort and a lot of patience.
Five strategies with which you can successfully declare war on uncontrolled growth in the lawn.
The first and classic way to keep unwanted weeds off your lawn. However, it is also the most difficult. Weeding and collecting weeds is particularly effective in the early stages of infestation. Sow seeds in the first few weeks after the lawn, for example. In particular, annual lawn weeds such as chickweed or white clover can be slowed down early on. A weed puller provides valuable services for perennial plants. The whole thing is much easier to do after a rain shower that softens the ground. With dandelions, brownella, harefoot and many other perennials, meticulous care must be taken to catch the roots and all runners. In order to be able to really grab the evil at the root base, the weed puller should reach as deep as possible into the soil. Then shake a little and get out with the herb. The soil can be loosened up a little with high-quality weed extractors (e.g. from Gardena). This is how you catch even the smallest pieces of root.
In the case of a large-scale infestation, you literally fight windmills with your hands and rake. This is where heavier guns are needed if you want to win the fight against weeds over the long term.
A scarifier is a little more brutal, but just as effective in the fight against weeds. The "lawn comb" with the razor-sharp blades has long been more than a secret weapon in German allotment gardens. The principle: the small knives, which are closely lined up, score the turf about two to three millimeters deep and comb out moss in particular, but also other weeds. When collecting and disposing of it, however, manual work is required again. Important: Before you scarify the lawn manually or electrically, you should mow your lawn - to a cutting height of approx. two centimetres.
Tip: For a better result, scarify lengthwise and crosswise - if possible once a year.
Let's come to a proven and, above all, ecologically completely harmless home remedy that gets to the bottom of the unwelcome lawn weeds. Take a pot or kettle with at least 95 degree hot water and pour it liberally onto the weeds. This first destroys the sensitive cell structure of the leaves, which can no longer carry out photosynthesis. The seepage water, which is still hot, then also attacks the roots. Ultimately, the plant dries up because it can neither absorb nutrients nor liquid. After a few days, the dead plant remains can be easily removed by hand and rake. For some weeds, the hot shower needs to be applied multiple times.
Even a simple black plastic film can dig away the water for annoying weeds. Or better: take the light to breathe. You don't even get your hands dirty. However, you should plan a little more time for this. In addition, this strategy only makes sense on smaller lawns. The idea behind it is simple: the tarpaulin is spread out on the lawn and fixed. Because the weeds don't get any "food" anymore, they die after two to three months. Of course, the grass suffers too. With appropriate care with fertilizer or rapid reseeding, however, the green usually recovers quickly.
On the other hand, you should quickly put a duo out of your head that has been praised for many years as an effective remedy for weeds. Vinegar and salt are now not only frowned upon, using them as weed killers is even officially forbidden. Since 2012, the Plant Protection Act has prohibited spraying with the quite effective cocktail. With good reason: Because vinegar and salt not only destroy the weeds, but also all other life in the soil. If you get caught anyway, you have to dig deep into your wallet.
The term weeds actually does the plants, which are often pretty to look at, an injustice. Because many not only bring bright splashes of color into the garden. Most are edible and, like dandelion, enrich salads, among other things. A refreshing tea can be brewed from nettle leaves. Ground elder and other wild herbs are rich in vitamins and can easily be processed into a pesto. Also in combination with potatoes, many herbs provide a very special kick. And if you don't trust the herbs in the kitchen, you can at least do something good for the local bees and insects - and create a wild herb or wild flower meadow.
Sources: gartenjournal.net; rasen-experte.de; garden and leisure; utopia.de
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