Monthly Archives: April 2013

How To Get Rid of Weeds in Phoenix, Arizona

Down comes the Rain, Up come the Weeds!

Front Yard Weeds

General Information on Weeds: Weeds are, for the most part, extremely opportunistic. They may lay dormant for months or, in some cases, even years before the right conditions trigger their growth. What most are waiting for is a nice soaking rain (or consecutive days of rain), followed by sunshine. These conditions signal them to germinate. From that point, they rush through their lifecycle while conditions are optimal. Some types of weeds may go through the entire cycle in a matter of days or weeks, some take a wee bit longer. Their goal is to put down as much seed as possible each time conditions are right, so their opportunity to spread geographically is maximized.

life-cycle-of-a-weed

Life Cycle of a Weed

Weeds have many “helpers” in their travels from one place to another. Birds, rodents, dogs, other animals and even humans are potential carriers of seed from one spot to another. Rain can transport seeds through run off. Wind can even contribute to seed distribution under the right conditions.

It is DEFINITELY NOT a good idea to wait when you are dealing with weeds. Immediate action is required, particularly before they set seed, otherwise the very act of removing them can spread more seed. The bottom line is, the longer you wait to deal with them the more abundant and difficult they can be to eradicate.

How to Get Rid of Weeds

Organic Option 1: Pulling them out by roots is a labor intensive but highly effective method of getting rid of weeds one at a time….as long as you get the whole root out. If you don’t, the weed may resprout, and the root will be even harder to get out of the ground the next time you try to pull it. The absolute best time to pull weeds is the day after a soaking rain. With the soil moist to a good depth, you should be able to easily get the whole plant out with a single steady pull. This is especially true for more juvenile plants. The problem with this method is that it can be a nearly daily activity depending on how much seed is primed to germinate and the weather.

Chemical Option 2: Spraying Roundup or similar products is an option, but may not always be enough. Roundup is a type of Post Emergent and doesn’t address seeds that haven’t sprouted. There are plenty of us out there who have waged chemical warfare on weeds, literally spraying gallons and gallons before the weeds stopped popping up. Our conclusion, of course, is that we won and we tend to feel somewhat victorious. In REALITY, the weather conditions more than likely changed in our favor. The evidence for that becomes abundantly clear the next time the right conditions occur, and the battle is ON again.

Professional Grade Chemical Option 3:
If you’ve always wondered why you have an awesome crop of weeds in your yard, and your neighbor doesn’t it’s probably because they receive Professional Grade Pre Post Emergent (a.k.a. PPE) Weed Control Treatments. It’s the most effective method we’ve found for keeping Broadleaf weeds down to a controllable level in our customer’s yards. Goodman’s customers who chose to subscribe to PPE Treatments experience little to no weed growth, even after the best of rains as long as a regular treatment program is being followed.

The “Pre” in PPE is a seed germination inhibitor. The “Post” in PPE attacks the foliage and root system. Treatments are typically scheduled twice yearly, and come with a 6 month warranty against re-emergence of Broadleaf weeds for a total of up to 4 treatment per year if needed. Bermuda and Nutgrass are not considered Broadleaf weeds. They require a different frequency and type of treatment. Which brings me to the first step in the process; knowing what TYPE of weeds you have in your yard. Educate yourself, or hire a Professional to assess and treat your yard.

NOTE: As with all chemicals caution should be exercised, and all instructions / warnings understood and followed.

Educational Fun With the Kids

If you have any young scientists among your children, have them keep a chart on two or three single types of weeds in your yard. You’ll BOTH be amazed at how fast weeds go through their life cycle. Pick a few different single young weeds of varying types and place a flag, or other type of marker next to each. Label each marker for charting purposes. Next, have your child measure and chart growth daily. Charting should include the date, weather conditions at the time of measurement, daily growth measurements,

how long it took for the weed to bloom, and how long it took after the bloom to produce seed. You can even have them chart the weed’s decline cycle. This is not only an educational, but fun and fascinating activity that your children will rememberand talk about for years to come.

NOTE:¬†If you have a yard care company you’ll need to alert them to the¬†experiment, or you may not be able to locate your science project after they’ve serviced your yard.

Examples of Weeds that Grow in Phoenix, Arizona

spotted-spurge-euphorbia-maculata

Spotted Spurge
(Euphorbia maculata)

filaree-erodium-cicutarium

Filaree
(Erodium cicutarium)

common-mallow-malva-neglecta

Common Mallow
(Malva neglecta)

bermuda-grass-with-rhizomes-showing

Bermuda grass
with rhizomes showing

nutgrass-sedge-in-lawn

Nutgrass (Sedge) in a lawn, lighter green and taller in picture

illustration-of-nutgrass

Illustration of Nutgrass

london-rocket-sisymbrium-irio

London Rocket
(Sisymbrium irio)

Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance Phoenix Weed Services

We offer Weed Control Treatments where we service your yard twice a year. You won’t have to worry about weeds ever again with Goodman’s help. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about our weed services.