What Do We Do About Weeds?
-By Clay Zdobylak
What do we do about weeds? Well, the most interesting way to put it is that we talk to them. Not literally (for the most part), but the weeds do tell us things about your property. The presence of certain plants as opposed to others can indicate things like soil PH, moisture, mineral content that may be present or absent, how stressed and or trod upon certain areas are, if it’s over grazed/ over-mowed, or if certain crucial nutritional elements are lacking or in excess.
For example, if we see alot of crabgrass or mallow, we may be concerned that the lawn is being over-mowed or the pasture over-grazed. Kyllinga, dollarweed, or nutsedge may be a good sign that the area isn’t draining well or the area is overly irrigated. Goosegrass may mean soils are compacted, dandelion could mean thin soil, lespedeza could be a cry for more nutrition, etc. etc.
All this to say, is that we treat ‘weeds’ (another word for a plant that someone feels is out of place) on your property as symptoms of an issue for us to discover and remedy, or as floral companions helping to mend and enrich your soils while the preferred grasses or covers establish themselves. If you’re trying to produce a lawn or pasture to be dominated by a particular grass, we know that many weeds can’t keep up with the grass if we provide the right nutrition and biology to get the soil to a grass-friendly state. After all, most ‘weeds’ don’t prefer the same soil profile as well established grasses.
In the end, there is no healthy soil that only ever sees exactly one plant grow in it. However, with the right nutrition and biology, as well as mindful cultural practices like appropriate mowing, irrigation, or grazing, you can encourage the plants you want to dominate the land, and crowd out the plants you find less desirable.