What is a weed? The definition of a weed per Merriam-Webster is (1) a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially : one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants (2) : a weedygrowth of plants. In Arizona we encounter many different types of weeds from bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) to spurge. A great list for common weeds found in AZ is available HERE.
Weeds in general are not very nice to look at, especially in a master planned community, or at a place of business. They are also a cause for a lot of alleges that can affect friends, neighbors, and customers. Some folks have a hard time with seasonal allergies, and with the winds blowing it can help the seed spread and become a worse problem in the future. When weeds become large and out of control they become a place for unwanted critters to roam freely.
There are many different ways to take care of the pesky weeds, and to maintain a beautiful weed free yard!
The first way is to manually pull the weeds as you see them come up. This is not only cost effective, but it is also a great way to get outdoors, exercise, and meet the community. Many people also choose to pull the weeds to refrain from using a chemical treatment, which can become costly overtime as well.
The second way would be to chemically treat the weeds to prevent them from germinating, this is known as a pre-emergent. There are “seasons” if you will that will allow the pre-emergent to activate properly. There are laws, regulations, standards, and ordinances that landscape companies must and should follow with the application of herbicides in urban landscapes, as with master planned communities who spray the chemical often.
The last way would be the next step to the pre-emergent, known as a post-emergent. This is used for weeds that have already begun to sprout up. It is recommended for the best use, to be sure that you do not let the weeds go over 6 in in length to have the spray be more effective. Once applied the weed will take in the chemical and die. Most homeowners, or landscapers will use a blue dye that will help mark the areas that have been sprayed. It can take anywhere from 24-72 hours to allow for the weeds to die off.
The best ways to keep the weeds at bay is to apply all of the above tips and tricks. This will keep your yard and community looking sharp! Please ensure the check with your community, and HOA guidelines, and always ask a professional if you have any questions or concerns with any landscaping needs.