do weeds kill grass

Whether you're new to gardening or a green-fingered garden enthusiast, you'll understand how infuriating it can be to try and prevent weeds from popping up on your lawn. Dandelions, daisies and thistles galore, every spring we're faced with a new bout of weeds that just don't want to budge. But are these weeds bad for your grass?

The short answer is yes, they are. In fact, they can compete with your grass on such an extreme level during the warmer months that you'll be left with sparse, brown patches all over the grass before winter. Weeds are well known for spreading their seeds and quickly taking over large areas of your lawn, so they must be stopped!

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One thing that all lawn care enthusiasts and homeowners can agree on is that weeds are a nuisance, especially the invasive and problematic type. However, not all weeds respond to dangerous chemical the same way. Many weeds are in fact resistant to herbicides and respond much better to different methods of control.

By understanding and utilising these different methods, you will be in the best possible position to eradicate all and any weeds that may start to crop up in and around your lawn. 

So, let's take a look at the different weed control methods that you can start using. 

Weed Control Methods

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Artificial Grass

You might be surprised to read this, but artificial grass is not immune to weeds. True, a fake lawn requires less maintenance than a real one, but going artificial doesn't necessarily mean that you'll never have to worry about weeds again.

As a general rule, you will only ever notice weeds growing around the edge of your artificial lawn, although it is possible for weeds to push through from beneath - especially if your fake grass was installed without a weed-resistant membrane.

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Lawn with dandelions and other weeds

So your lawn is looking a little crowded these days. Dandelions, hairy bittercress and a selection of other common lawn weeds have made your garden their home, and your lovely green grass must now compete with all sorts of other plants for water and essential nutrients.

Clearly, some anti-weed measures are in order. But how do you kill those pesky weeds without killing your grass too?

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Types of Weed Killer

With so many types of weed killer available on the market, it can become quite confusing when comes a time when you have to pick the right one. A range and variety of herbicides will more than likely have you scratching your head whilst looking at a wall of products standing in aisle six. To make things a little easier for you, we try to break down the main types of weed killer that you can buy, their characteristics and when they are suitable to use.

The types of weed killer include contact, systemic, residual, selective and non-selective. It’s important to note that before buying any type of weed killer, selecting and using the wrong type on your lawn or affected area can cause serious harm. Also, the most popular herbicide, ‘Roundup’, is a contact, systemic and non-selective weed killer.

 

Contact Weed Killers

As its name suggests, this type of weed killer kills weeds as soon as they come into contact with it. Here, the herbicide is consumed by the stomata (tiny openings) of the plant’s leaf. However, in order for the weed killer to be effective, the stomata need to be open. These are only open when the plant is actively growing and throughout the day whilst the process of photosynthesis is taking place. Therefore, contact weed killers need to be applied to the target plants during the growing season, to green, living foliage and early in the day. This gives the herbicide the whole duration of the day to work its way into the stomata.

Contact weed killers are used by many homeowners and lawn care enthusiasts as they have no impact on the garden soil surrounding the target plants. A popular type of contact herbicide is glyphosate, when applied, becomes locked inside soil particles, making it unavailable to plant root, resulting in it becoming redundant in the soil. Contact weed killers take approximately two weeks to take full effect and are a superb choice for tackling and controlling annual weeds. To manage perennial weeds, however, two or maybe three applications of contact herbicide are required.

 

Systemic Weed Killers

The majority of herbicides fall under the category of systemic weed killers. This means that on entry into the plant, the herbicide works its way through the plant’s transport system to target and kill all of its areas. An example of a systemic week killer in action would see it entering a plant through its foliage and working its way all the way down the plant until it reaches the roots, where it eventually kills the weed completely.

 

Residual Weed Killers

These type of weed killers are also referred to as soil acting weed killers. Careful consideration must be taken when selecting and using these herbicides as their application will poison the soil surrounding the target plant, rendering it inactive and useless for growing any further plants, weeds or flowers. The majority of residual weed killers sit in the soil for months, preventing any form of growth from taking place. However, lesser plants such as algae and lichens are not affected by these herbicides. The ideal areas to use residual week killers are hard-standing areas such as paths, driveways and patios and not areas where you may grow plants or vegetables in the near future.

 

Selective Weed Killers

These herbicides work to kill a particular plant whilst leaving surrounding soil and plants unharmed. For example, certain selective weed killers aim to only target broad-leaved plants such as buttercup, dandelion and daisy, whilst having zero effect on narrow-leaved plants such as grass. As the two types of plants are two early evolutionary divisions within the plant kingdom, they have two very different vascular and transport systems. Meaning selective herbicides can be created to target one of these two plant types.

 

Non-Selective Weed Killers

As you may have already guessed, non-selective weed killers are herbicides which work to kill everything that they come into contact with, similar to contact weed killers. Unlike contact herbicides, however, non-selective weed killers will kill or severely damage any and every plant that they touch. It is therefore extremely important to take extra care when using and applying this type of herbicide. Be sure to never spray during windy conditions, never walk over areas that may have been sprayed previously, cover plants that are near the target weed and handle chemicals and knapsacks sprayers with care.

Here at Taylor Total Weed Control, you’ll be glad to hear that we use appropriate weed killers whenever necessary. Matching both the weed type and the result that you’re looking to get. Our team of weed control specialists have years of training and experience in the use and application of herbicides, so you can rest assured knowing that your lawn or effected area will be in safe, professional hands.

To learn more about our weed control services, simply click below. You can also get in touch with a member of our team if you would like to enquire about weed control treatment on your property.

Our Weed Control Services >

British homeowners are being warned to not grow bamboo in their garden due to the potential dangers that the oriental plant can bring, with experts likening the effects of bamboo to the notorious Japanese knotweed.

Due to its screening capabilities and use within outdoor privacy measure, bamboo is an extremely popular choice for homeowners up and down the country, particularly within urban areas. However, its abilities to become highly invasive and out of control mean it can cause unpredictable and irreversible damage. Which, unfortunately, was the case for one homeowner in Reading.

The unnamed homeowner was forced to unearth her entire garden after bamboo grew to several metres in height and began to spread right across her garden towards her property, damaging her patio in the process.

Various forms of bamboo exist, namely ‘clumping’ and running’ that can have negative effects on surrounding areas. In this case, the ‘running’ bamboo found within the homeowner’s garden started to grow a large network of root and ‘rhizomes’, wreaking havoc on the property.

The rhizomes of bamboo are capable of spreading up to 30ft and if left untreated, can spread across and invade neighbouring property posing a huge threat to the foundations of homes.

Just like Japanese knotweed, bamboo has the ability to strangle plots of land as a result of its capability to damage property, breach brick, patios and cause cracks in concrete. It is known to thrive in a variety of soils, environments and temperatures with little to no maintenance. Experts have stated that if you do choose to house bamboo on your property to make sure you choose a clumping variety as opposed to the running types. It is also a good idea to ‘place it within a pot or bed which is lined with strong vertical root barrier designed to contain bamboo.’

A retired couple from Reading has said they were mis-sold their bamboo by a local nursery, stating they were promised it would not grow further than waist height and would not spread. However, the bamboo shot up and out damaging both the patio and approaching house.

Professional Removal Services

To ensure you’re not affected by the damaging effects of bamboo or Japanese knotweed, professional removal is required. If you have spotted bamboo or knotweed on or near your property and want to act fast before major damage can be caused, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Taylor Total Weed Control team. We have a number of treatment plans available for you to choose from.

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Giant hogweed

While it may sound more like something from a Harry Potter movie than a garden-dwelling pest, giant hogweed is far from a magical presence in your garden.

In fact, giant hogweed has the ability to cause serious damage, particularly if it comes into contact with human skin.

To keep you and your loved ones safe, here's everything you need to know about giant hogweed.

 

What is Giant Hogweed?

As the name suggests, giant knotweed has the ability to reach heights of over 3 metres, adorned in large, leafy stems and topped with white flowery clusters that are umbrella-like in appearance.

While it may be pleasing to the eye, don't let its innocent appearance fool you - it's hiding some serious dangers beneath its looks.

Originating in the Caucasus Mountains and Central Asia, this troublesome weed made its way over to the UK in the 19th century as an ornamental addition, much like Japanese knotweed.

However, unlike Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed can pose a variety of physical dangers as well as horticultural headaches.

 

Dangers of Giant Hogweed

A detailed description of giant hogweed makes it sound like some sort of sci-fi monster. In addition to its daunting height, it's also covered in fibrous hairs and coated in toxic sap. The sap itself is an extreme irritant which can burn the skin and even lead to potential sight loss if it gets in your eyes.

If the skin comes into contact with giant hogweed sap, the toxic substance reacts with sunlight to cause photodermatitis, leading to a red rash with painful blistering and scarring a common consequence.

 

Removing Giant Hogweed

As a foreign plant with strongly invasive tendencies, giant hogweed is classed as an invasive species, with a variety of legislation placed upon this harmful plant in order to control it.

Giant hogweed is even listed in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, meaning it's actually an offence to cause giant hogweed to grow in the wild in England and Wales.

If you find giant hogweed on your property, it's strongly advised you contact a specialist to conduct professional removal of the weed ASAP.

Attempting removal without expert knowledge can be dangerous. Cut plant debris and even contaminated clothing and tools used to remove it can still prove hazardous.

For safe eradication of giant hogweed from your property, call Taylor Total Weed Control today on 029 2039 7554 and cut your giant invader down to size without feeling the burn.

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When it comes to gardening chores, pulling up weeds can be like pulling teeth: it’s a painful process that nobody wants to go through but is often a necessary evil that’s a means to an end.

However, like pulling teeth, doing so yourself is probably not the smartest way to go about it. Not only can it be risky but it can also result in further complications down the line.

In order to ensure you get the job done well first time, the best bet is to call in the experts. Luckily, your friendly neighbourhood weed whackers here at TWC have you covered... for weeds that is, not teeth pulling.

But there’s a lot more to de-weeding a garden than simply yanking up unsightly plants from the roots. Like any self-respecting professional, lawn care experts will also need a license to do so.

 

licensed to use weed killer

 

Law of the Land

In order to professionally administer weed killer, lawncare specialists must come equipped with a relevant weed killer license that permits them to do so – and with good reason.

The chemicals used can not only be harmful to the untrained but also to the environment if used incorrectly. To avoid harm to yourself, your garden or others, it’s important that whoever that your garden expert of choice is a fully licensed pro.

While you are free to use over the counter weed killer products on your own domestic land, commercial weed killing services can no longer be supplied without the relevant qualifications, following the introduction of new laws in 2015.

This is great news for prideful professionals, as it weeds out the industry cowboys; however, it’s also good news for you, the consumer. Stricter training regulations mean you get a better service and more professional treatment of your lawn if you do turn to an expert for a helping hand.

 

Weed Out the Competition

So, just what do you need to look out for when identifying if your chosen pro is licensed to use weed killer?

The specific qualifications your pro will need to have are in particular are the PA1 and PA6 qualifications. These are commonly known collectively as the NPTC Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides.

In order to pass as a fully-qualified weed removal expert, your chosen expert will need to have both PA1 and PA6 certification in order to qualify as a horticultural hitman of weeds. One or the other won’t suffice, so be sure they have both sides of the equation covered.

The PA1 represents the theory side of the course – including health and safety requirements, product knowledge and legislation – while the PA6 covers the all-important practical side, providing first-hand experience of manual handling and safe pesticide use.

Once completed, the course provides a lifetime qualification for safe use of pesticides in public places. As a life-long license, there is no expiry to this certification (barring any drastic changes in regulations or chemical usage).

 

Grandfather Rights

To muddy up the process even further, you may stumble across the term “grandfather rights”. This is in reference to a legal loophole that allows those born before 1965 to use professional crop protection without a weed killer license.

However, since the updated laws came into effect, this loophole is no longer valid and the term has now run its course. If your lawncare professional does try to pull a fast one using the “grandfather” card, don’t be afraid to lay down the law and give them what for.

 

Additional Paperwork

In addition to a valid weed killer license, it’s also worth checking your lawn care professional is covered with the relevant Public Liability Insurance.

PLI covers the service provider for your compensation, should something go awry with the treatment and you need to make a claim (such as personal injury or property damage).

While this may not seem like your concern as a consumer, it’s good to know that your lawn care professional is capable of paying up should worse come to worst.

 

Good to Know

While often used interchangeably, there is actually a notable difference between the “pesticides” and “herbicides”. Luckily, the name tags of each provide a not-so-subtle clue as to which one is which.

Pesticides are chemicals used to control harmful insects that can destroy flowers and other vegetation. Herbicides, on the other hand, are chemicals used to treat weeds that can negatively affect and hinder the growth of vegetation. Despite the difference between the two, both are covered under the PA1 and PA6 license.

If you do decide to use weed killer on your own garden, be careful when ordering products online as some professional-grade weed killer products found online requires an equally professional applicators license. To avoid any issues, be sure to double-check before you hit the “order” button.

For safe, secure and certified weed killing services, Taylor Weed Control offers all that and then some. Our fully-licensed weed killing services are both effective and affordable, guaranteed to save your garden from any weedy worries you may have.

 

For more information on our lawncare and weed killing services from Taylor Weed Control, why not drop us a line today on 029 2039 7554 or click the button below to request a FREE survey.

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how to remove weeds from large areas

If weeds have taken over your garden and claimed it as their own, wrestling back control can seem like a mammoth task. In today's blog, we're going to talk you through the different ways you can remove weeds from large areas with ease.

You could just bend the knee and admit defeat to your new perennial overlords, content with living out your days as a mere tenant on weedy land.

Failing that, you could fight back and give these weedy warriors a grass-kicking to remember!

If you want to learn the best ways to clear a large area of weeds, you’re in the right place. Read on for the inside track on just how to remove weeds from a large area.

SOS: Save Our Soils

Before you begin the de-weeding process, you need to ask yourself one question (besides “Do you feel lucky?”) – that being whether or not there are plants worth saving.

If the answer is “yes”, you could be limiting your options as far as widespread weed removal goes.

Weeding a large surface area can be done fairly simply; however, treating a large area without negatively affecting certain plants within that area can pose some tricky problems.

Should your patch of plight house a prized plant, you may need to remove the weeds individually to avoid killing off the crops you aren’t willing to sacrifice. In this instance, the best way to clear a large area of weeds is to carefully remove them by hand!

Have a Hoe-Down

Any experienced gardener will tell you that an essential tool for removing weeds is the humble garden hoe. These come in a variety of forms, ranging from flat wide to diamond-shaped.

For large areas, hand-sized hoes are not going to cut it, while narrow-bladed hoes – like the Warren hoe and triangular hoe – can also make a real meal of the task at hand.

Instead, opt for a larger hoe, complete with a long handle and with a wide blade, such as a standard gardening hoe, an onion hoe or an eye hoe. This will allow you to break up a wider area more efficiently. 

If there aren't too many previous plants around, grabbing a hoe to remove large clusters of weeds is a very effective way to weed a large area.  

Take Cover

Another great option for large area weed removal is to cover the area with landscape fabric. This will prevent the weeds from sourcing oxygen, smothering the weeds into submission. Old carpet and black polythene will also work just as well, although they might be a bit of an eye-sore.

While these large area weed removal methods can be effective, they can also take months to kill off the unwanted weeds and there are few gardeners who are willing to wait this long. If you still think that covering the weeds is the best way to remove weeds in large areas, you could combat the eyesore by adding chipped bark over the top to help disguise the covering.

 Professional Weed Removal

Despite the tips and hints above, perhaps the best way to remove weeds from large area lawns is to enlist professional help and call in the experts.

There’s no shame in delegating the weed duties elsewhere. After all, weeds have a nasty habit of returning; ineffective treatment can result in unsuccessful removal and recurring problems down the line.

What’s more, weed removal can be a time-consuming process at the best of times, let alone when you’re dealing with an earthy epidemic that engulfs your whole garden. Save yourself the hassle and leave it to the pros.

Here at Taylor Weed Control, our cavalry of weed-whacking warriors come equipped with the heavy-hitting artillery, packing professional equipment, industry-grade pesticides and expert knowledge on how to use them.

 

For weed removal that’s efficient, economical and effective, call Taylor Weed Control today on 029 2039 7554. Alternatively, drop us a line using the button below and request a FREE garden survey today!

Request a FREE Survey

The infographic below provides a brief overview of all the common lawn weeds that we have come across throughout South Wales and the South West over the years. Some are more damaging and more difficult to get rid of than others, so we have provided essential information about each that you will need to know! 

common lawn weeds

Infographic Transcript 

Ephemeral Weeds

This weed type tends to have more than one life cycle per year, therefore ordinary weed killers are not particularly effective. The word ‘ephemeral’ means transitory or quickly fading, referring to the unique growth strategies exhibited by these types of weeds. In each of these growing strategies, the ephemeral weed has a life cycle timed to exploit a short period when specific resources are freely available such as low waters and wet periods.

Groundsel

  • Grows 5-22cm high
  • Lobed leaves & small yellow flowers
  • Sets seed within 4-6 weeks
  • Seeds germinate throughout the year apart from midwinter

Hairy Bittercress

  • Compact plant growing 3-5cm high
  • Tiny white flowers
  • Sets seeds within 4-6 weeks
  • Weed of cool moist conditions – improving drainage will help control

Chickweed

  • Grows 5-7cm high
  • Vigorous spreading habit with small white flowers and an extensive root system
  • One of the most common ephemeral weeds
  • Set seeds quickly – germinate easily in damp soil

Annual Weeds

These types of weed grow and flower in a short period of time. They tend to seed in the winter and come back throughout various times in the year, living for only one season, hence why they are given the name ‘annual’. The trigger for these types of weeds often come from a few wet days during Spring. Take a look a some of the most common annual weeds below.

Fat Hen

  • Grows up to 27cm high
  • Broad leaves with small indistinct green/white flowers
  • Found on rich soil – seedlings germinate in dense patches
  • Seeds persist for a long time and will germinate readily

Yellow Oxalis

  • Grows around 5cm high but it a prolific seeder
  • Seeds are dropped from barely visible pods before even noticing its presence
  • Once present will multiply very quickly
  • Often found in nursery plant pots

Prickly Milk Thistle

  • Can grow up to 90cm high – often smaller
  • Pale yellow flowers
  • Seeds set in as little as four weeks if the plant is in a dry and shaded place
  • Strong taproot, making it difficult to remove when established

Perennial Weeds

These types of weeds are persistent and prone to becoming more and more challenging as time goes on. Perennial weeds appear every year from the same plant and are difficult to get rid of. Many have deep roots which need to be removed but once this is done, smaller regrowth can be handled in an easier manner. These weeds have the ability to cause a great deal of disturbance to your lawn and garden.

Dandelion

  • Can take 6-9 month to remove by digging out small roots
  • Remove as much as parent root as possible to avoid the possibility of re-grow
  • A common weed which spreads easily, they are valued for their medicinal properties and culinary use
  • Leaves are diuretic which cleanses the liver, provide rich mineral content

Dock Leaf

  • Look a lot more difficult to remove than they actually are
  • Slicing through the tap root about 6 inches down and removing as much as possible will often stop it from re-growing
  • Once seed heads mature, large clusters of brown seeds are produced – best burnt
  • Friends as well as foe – Soothes skin stung by nettles by rubbing on affected area

Bramble

  • Always look far more difficult to remove than they actually are
  • Often grows with a tangle of long thorny stems
  • Remove all stems initially and then remove the root
  • Mulching helps after the ground has been cleared

 

These are just a selection of the common lawn weeds that you’re likely to find on your property.

If you do happen to come across any of these weeds or any other weeds that you may be unsure of, be sure to visit our website https://www.taylor-weed-control.co.uk/ for more information on our weed removal services!

Contact Taylor Weed Control

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