When asking the question of how to control your weeds, Reno Landscaping Experts Antonucci Lawn and Garden would like to offer some basic steps to weed prevention and control, as well as list some of the most common weeds here in the Northern Nevada Area.
Otherwise known as the Russian Thistle. These weeds are a summer annual that forms when mature dry tumbleweeds break off and spread their seeds. Since the dry weeds are extremely light, they are very easy for the wind to carry them, thus spreading their seeds. They are found everywhere from roadsides to residential yards, to agricultural areas. They have tiny green or pinkish/red flowers that have no petals. Fully grown, they can easily prick your skin.
Another popular weed here in Northern Nevada is the Prickly Lettuce. These popular weeds can grow anywhere from 1 foot to 6 feet tall, and make Reno landscaping a chore. The stems are hollow and will branch into a flowering structure. The stem can be both prickly or smooth. When cut, the leaves and stems will spew out a milky sap. Flower heads are often yellow and look like dandelions.
The Spotted and Prostrate Spurge is a very common Northern Nevada weed found in many lawns, paver patios and walkways, rock and bark areas, and vegetable gardens. This weed thrives in the heat of summer. The Spurge will quickly populate weak areas in your lawn producing with them several thousand seeds per plant. They are easily recognizable by their reddish hairy stems that can branch out up to 3 feet from its core. They tend to bloom from June until September.
Let’s now look at the Curlycup Gumweed in our weed prevention and control series. You will often see this American native weed along roads and highways. They are short-lived perennials that can grow up to 1 to 3 feet tall. Their leaves are very sticky and their flowers are bright yellow. Flowering mainly occurs from July through September.
The Perennial Pepperweed is another common Northern Nevada weed. These perennial weeds can grow up to 6 feet tall. They will grow much taller in moist areas. Their leaves are large at the bottom of the stem and become smaller as you move up the stem. Established Perennial Pepperweed develops an extensive root system which allows them to store a great amount of energy.
The Tumble Mustard Weed is also a popular western weed. It is a weed that is found in elevation up to 8,000 feet and inhabits agricultural lands and other disturbed sites.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the weeds in our area, I’m sure you have had a run in with several other varieties!!
There are three ways of stopping and preventing weeds from intruding your yard:
- Mechanical weed control is a weed prevention and control method in which the weed is physically removed. There are different types of mechanical weed control. Weed pulling is the most common method. The effectiveness of this method is removing as much of the root system as possible. Mowing is another mechanical method used. Mowing is most effective before the weeds are able to set their seeds. Burning and flaming your weeds can also be an economical and practical method of weed control when done carefully. Flaming is most effective on weeds that are less than two inches tall. Flaming should be done with a propane torch and a fan tip, always use caution when using an open flame in your yard.
- Pre-emergent is a form of weed prevention and control that inhibits the germination of seeds, which makes it an excellent choice for controlling weeds. Pre-emergents establish a chemical barrier that will not kill plants listed on the label as safe but will prevent weeds from successfully growing. The protective barrier breaks down in six to eight weeks. Use of a pre-emergent, therefore, requires proper timing to be effective. You need to apply them very early in the season. Be aware that pre-emergents can harm some desirable ornamental plants and turf grasses. As always, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Some examples of Pre-emergents are Casoron, Surflan, Ronstar, Dimension, and Gallery.
- Post-emergent is also a form of weed prevention and control in which herbicides are designed to attack weeds that are already established and growing. All of the contact weed killers are post-emergents. Apply post-emergents later in the growing season, after weeds are established but before they have gone to seed. Some examples of post-emergents are Glyphosphate (Round-up), 2,4-D and Trimec.
While each of these individual methods are effective, using an integrated approach, combining all three methods, will give you the optimum results in your quest for a weed free yard. This will make your landscaping appearance in Reno look much more put together. For more information on Reno landscaping, visit us at Antonucci Lawn and Garden, or call us at 775.841.5296.
For more information on how to care for your yard, check out our post on landscape irrigation systems.