Thursday, June 29, 2017

Weeds in Your Vegetable Garden?

Growing vegetables during the summer can be a great way to cut down on grocery costs and cultivate beautiful, rich produce that is unlike anything you've ever tasted before.
Unfortunately, keeping your vegetable garden looking clean and tidy can be a downright struggle. Weeds grow at an alarming rate, and no sooner do you plant and water your vegetables, you'll find a wide variety of weeds taking sprout.
The issue with weeds in the garden is that they can stunt the growth of your vegetables, taking vital nutrients from the other plants just to expand their own rooting system. Getting rid of weeds is imperative when trying to establish a lush and large veggie garden.
Mulch and Cover Crop
Mulch has a variety of benefits for gardeners, which makes it one of the best options when trying to get rid of weeds. Not only does mulch hold onto water and keep your veggie plants moistened, but it helps to reduce and even prevent excessive weed growth throughout the garden. There are a wide range of mulch options for gardens, but wood chippings and sawdust are the most preferred for vegetables.
You can also invest in a cover crop product, which essentially covers the dirt around your vegetables to prevent the sun and rain from hitting anything other than the crops themselves. This is ideal for preventing weeds from growing because they have nowhere to sprout naturally. Cover crops can be a bit more difficult to work with because you will need to lay out the cover before you plant the vegetables and ensure that the plants have adequate room to grow.
Weed Killer
Weed killing sprays are incredibly effective. The spray contains an herbicide that is specifically made to kill vegetation. One of the main problems with using a weed killing spray is that it can be all too easy to accidentally hit your vegetable plants. Weed killers are so potent that even the slightest drop on a leaf of vegetation will eventually kill the plant that was sprayed, so be wary when using these products and take your time spraying the weeds. If you're afraid of hurting your plants, pulling your weeds is safer.
Pulling: Techniques and Tools
The old-fashioned technique of pulling out your weeds is still a preferred method by many gardeners. You don't have to worry about chemical sprays, barriers or powders that can all have a negative impact on healthy plant growth.
There are many handheld tools that have been created to make pulling weeds a little bit easier. These can sometimes even be used while standing, which takes pressure off your back and knees. Unfortunately, pulling weeds is effective while you're doing it, but don't be surprised if you find more weeds growing just days later.
Keep Plants Close Together
A technique to use in the garden to inhibit weed growth is to plant your vegetables as close together as they can possibly be. This gives very little room for weeds to sprout and prevents the need for pulling, sprays or mulch products. Most vegetable varieties do well when they're planted close together since it's easier to adequately water them.

Custom Weed & Pest Control has been in business since 1989, serving the greater Phoenix metro area for both residential and commercial. Visit site:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

How to Control Grass Growth

Many people suffer with grass in unwanted parts of their yards, but not everyone knows how to stop that grass from spreading. Before you saturate the edges of your garden in harmful chemicals, consider taking these natural steps to stopping the spread of grass.
Clear the Area
This method works best as a preventative measure: Before you start planting seeds in your garden, make sure you've completely removed any grass or weeds that have moved in. You'll want to do this in early spring, and if you're a gardener who enjoys tilling, that would be an excellent time to take out any developing sprouts.
It's important to do this before planting because once grass takes root, it can easily become entangled with your garden plants and will be impossible to remove without killing the rest of your garden. If your garden is entirely covered with grass, of course, this method may be too time-consuming to work effectively.
Hinder Growth with Mulch
Mulch can be a great tool to kill unwanted grass. If gardening is a new experience for you, mulch is essentially dead material like leaves that is applied to soil to provide it with extra nutrients and/or for insulation. With this trick, you'll be using mulch primarily for its utility as an insulator.
For this trick, you'll first want to de-grass your garden, then spread a layer of newspaper around whatever space you won't be planting. Ideally, this layer should be about ten sheets thick and covered with four inches of mulch. This is to stop grass from getting any sunlight or air, and can be an effective way to prevent annoying grass growth. As an added bonus, once the newspaper has degraded, your garden will get a nice boost of nutrients from the mulch.
Heat is Your Friend
Boiling water has a longstanding use as a weed-killer, but this strategy can be improved upon to also get rid of grass. Simply take one cup of boiling water, add a cup of vinegar, and spray it on the areas you're trying to de-grass. The heat and vinegar will sink down to the root and kill the grass at its core. Because this method requires some preparation in small quantities, it works best for small outbreaks of grass rather than large-scale growth.
One note: This method can be harmful to the pH level of your garden because of the vinegar, so be mindful of how much you're using and what you plan on growing before attempting this solution. Some plants can thrive in soil with a high pH, while others will be impossible to grow in the same conditions.
Be Resourceful

Unwanted grass can be a serious pain to deal with, but remember that you have options before you resort to spraying your entire garden with weed-killer. These natural solutions are excellent and time-tested methods of controlling the growth of grass in your lawn, so use them before resorting to more drastic methods of grass removal.

Custom Weed & Pest Control has been in business since 1989, serving the greater Phoenix metro area for both residential and commercial. Visit site: