Brian Eshenaur spends a lot of time helping farmers and homeowners with their crops and lawns. He says prevention is key when it comes to keeping weeds away.
"Monitoring is a big part of integrated pest management. Catching problems when they are small before they really develop," says Eshenaur.
One way to prevent problems is to watch your grass height. He says you want the grass to be between 3 and 4 inches.
"One of the biggest problems that allow weed pests to come in is mowing the lawn too low. It's a real common problem. A higher mowed lawn shades out the soil below and prevents weeds from really getting started," says Eshenaur.
He also says to keep an eye out for weeds. Wild garlic is one that can pop up in our area. "This one can be managed if you have the patience by physically digging it up. Usually it's in small clumps. May have to do that more than once but it can be managed that way," says Eshenaur.
It may sound like hard work, but Eshenaur says it's better than overtreating with weed killers and other products. "Instead of putting blanket applications down several times a year, you may be able to ,if your choosing to use a weed control product, make some spot treatments and then concentrate efforts in those problem areas rather than spreading it across the entire lawn which may not need it."
And don't forget to clean up after yourself too.
Eshenaur says, "if you get any of the fertilizer on sidewalks or driveways, it's really important to sweep that back into the lawn so that it doesn't run off. Because if it gets into our stormwater, then it gets into our waterways and eventually into lake ontario for most of us."
Another thing to keep in mind is ground cover. Instead of trying to make grass grow in an area it doesn't want to, consider other plants that may require less maintenance.