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Weed Control in Perennial Gardens

No matter the time of the season, weeds seem to grow and thrive. Keeping them under control will give you a healthier, more productive and attractive garden.

Pulling or cultivating works great for annual and some young perennial weeds. Remove weeds before they set seed to reduce the number of weeds in next year's garden.

Deep rooted and persistent weeds like bindweed, creeping Charlie and quackgrass will return, if any portion of their roots, rhizomes or stems remain in or on the soil.

Consistently cutting the tops of these and any weed will eventually starve the roots and the plant will die. But you must be more persistent than the weed.

Some of the new environmentally friendly weed killers use vinegar, soaps and plant oils to burn plant leaves. Repeat applications are needed for perennials.

Total vegetation killers kill the tops and roots of plants. Protect nearby desirable plants to prevent damage. Try covering the weed with a bottomless milk jug and then spray preventing damage to nearby plants. And be sure to read and follow all label directions before use.

A bit more information: A gardener shared this application method he uses for treating perennial weeds with a total vegetation killer. He and his neighbor call it the "Tongues of Death". They secure sponges on the ends of tongues. The sponges are dipped in the proper strength of a total vegetation killer. They squeeze the tongues over the pesticide container to remove the excess liquid. Next they grab a weed leaf between the sponges and wipe on the weed killer covering the top and bottom of the leaf. Apply to all the leaves for best results. This application technique puts the herbicide right on the weed. Be careful the treated leaves do not contact desirable plants while wet. Use long handles tongues to extend your reach. Be sure to securely store the sponges and tongues with your other pesticides when not in use.

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