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2 dos and 1 don't for summer weed control

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

When you're fighting weeds, it can be tempting to give it everything you've got, no matter the time of year. But in the heat of summer, it's best to take a tempered approach to weed control.

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  1. Do: Keep your lawn mowed high during the summer. Ohio State University Extension has a handy chart of ideal heights for common grass types. Find yours on the chart, then set your mower to the high end of the spectrum. That extra half-inch or inch of height can help shade out weeds.

  2. Do: Water deeply a few times a week, instead of lightly every day. Deep watering is a good practice throughout the year, since it encourages development of a strong root system; it's also a summer weed control strategy. As the Colorado State University Extension points out, light, frequent watering creates the sort of conditions that help weed seeds sprout. Keeping the water below the surface for most of the week can keep conditions inhospitable for weeds.

  3. Don't: Apply a chemical fertilizer in July or August, when your lawn is already heat-stressed, and your odds of damaging or discoloring your lawn are greater than at other times of year. Try extirpating most weeds with herbicide in early spring or fall, as advised in this chart created by the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science of the Ohio State University Extension.

While herbicides may be off the table for July and August, any time of year is a good time to get busy with garden gloves and a shovel. Just make sure you drink plenty of water and lather on the sun protection!

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