Is It Better To Pull Weeds Or Spray?

Garden weeds often prevent plants from growing to their maximum potential. Weeds compete with plants for nutrients. Therefore, gardeners should do everything possible to remove weeds from their gardens.

Today, you can use a wide range of techniques to get rid of unwanted plants from your garden. Some of them include buying an Aerogarden kit that eliminates weeding, pulling weeds out of the ground and spraying herbicides.

Every weed control method carries its advantages and disadvantages. So, ensure you select the best weed removal method that caters to your requirements.

Pulling out weeds vs. spraying

Pulling out weeds is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is pull out the weeds from the soil using your hands or various gardening equipment.

During this process, you remove the entire unwanted plant, including the roots. Pulling out weeds protects other desirable plants in the garden from damage.

The technique of pulling out weeds is effective. This is because the entire weed gets removed from the ground. As a result, weeds won’t regrow in your garden.

Gardening experts usually advise pulling out weeds when the soil is moist and soft. The perfect time to pull out weeds is after it rains.

The drawbacks of pulling out weeds

As mentioned earlier, pulling out weeds is very effective since there are minimal chances of the weeds regrowing in the same location. Nonetheless, pulling out weeds may bring weed seeds closer to the surface. And this can lead to the growth of more weeds.

More often than not, weed seeds exist beneath the ground. When brought up to the surface, they can grow and hinder healthy plant growth. Luckily, you can prevent this by putting in place a weed barrier.

Another drawback to pulling out weeds is that the process is labor-intensive. You’ll spend a lot of effort and time trying to dig out weeds from your lawn or garden. If you have a large garden, the process can be extraordinarily grueling for you.

Spraying herbicides

Today, there is a broad spectrum of herbicides you can use to kill weeds. The main two types of weed control chemicals are post-emergent herbicides and pre-emergent herbicides. Generally, post-emergent herbicides get rid of already existing weeds.

Pre-emergent herbicides, on the other hand, are intended to prevent the growth of weeds. When sprayed on the soil, post-emergent herbicides kill weeds within a few days, probably a week. However, the unwanted plant stays in the ground until it withers and dies on its own.

Herbicides have the disadvantage of containing toxic ingredients that may endanger your desirable plants. Herbicides can easily reach the leaves of the plants as you spray them. And this can be detrimental to plant growth.

Consult your manufacturer about the best weed control chemical to purchase. Also, take time to read and understand all the usage instructions for the herbicides. This way, you’ll reduce the chances of killing your wanted plants.

Cutting weeds

Another technique you can use to get rid of weeds is cutting. Unlike pulling out weeds, cutting weeds only involves trimming the top part of the weed to hinder further growth. However, cutting the top section of the weeds using a hoe only works when the weeds do not get water for several days.

You have to starve the weeds and leave them to stay dehydrated for days. Cutting weeds does not work for large and aggressive weeds like bamboo. This weed control technique works best for weeds located on pavers. At the end of the day, the method you use to remove your weeds will depend on your requirements.

Tips for pulling out weeds

If you decide to remove your weeds by pulling them out, here are a few things you need to know. These tips will help you prevent the weeds from regrowing.

Grab it by the base and pull out the roots:

When pulling out weeds, always focus on pulling from the roots. Snatching the weed and giving it a sharp tug won’t remove the entire plant. Remember, you want to remove all the sections of the weeds. Always grab one weed plant at a time from the base and remove it gradually from the ground.

If you use a lot of pressure to pull it out, the roots may snap into two; and leave some parts in the ground. So, always be careful when pulling out your weeds.

Try landscape fabric:

You can minimize the time and effort of pulling out weeds by using landscape fabric. Landscape fabric prevents the growth of weeds. Generally, this fabric acts as a weed barrier. All you have to do is spread out the landscape fabric across the garden soil.

The material prevents light from reaching through the weeds. As a result, they prevent the growth of weeds. There are many types of fabric you can use for your landscape. Nevertheless, landscape fabric does not foster proper soil ventilation since it kills the growth of garden-friendly earthworms.

Best tips for spraying weeds in your garden

Buy a suitable chemical herbicide:

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, you must purchase an effective chemical herbicide to kill weeds. Nowadays, there is a wide range of chemical herbicides you can use in your garden. Consult your manufacturer about the best product to use based on your requirements.

Often, it is advisable to use non-toxic herbicides. This way, you can protect your plants from damage. Most herbicides contain toxic ingredients that can spread and damage other plants.

Target the weeds:

When spraying chemical herbicides, it would be best to deal with a single weed plant at a time. You can protect the other plants using a plastic cover with a small opening in the center. Use the small opening to spray the weeds. Also, use a high-pressure nozzle for spraying.

High-pressure nozzles emanate tiny droplets which can easily drift from healthy plants. Try as much as possible not to spray the chemical herbicide on the plants.

Deal with the problem early:

It is beneficial to your garden if you remove unwanted plants as soon as you notice them. This is because you won’t have to use large quantities of chemical herbicides on the weeds.

In turn, you reduce the chances of destroying desirable plants. Remember, using too many herbicides in your garden can lower the quality of your soil. And this can hinder healthy plant growth.

Understand herbicides:

  1. Before you start spraying herbicides on the weeds, ensure you know how the product works.
  2. Identify all the chemical ingredients used to make the product.
  3. Find out if they are toxic to the plant.
  4. Read, understand and follow all the guidelines indicated in the manual.

Doing this will ensure the chemical herbicide works more effectively.

Spray at the right time: Most chemical herbicides work well when sprayed in the late morning, afternoon, or midday hours. Also, chemical herbicides work well in cool areas. Plant growth slows down towards the end of the day.

So, spraying herbicides in the late afternoon, evening, or at night is not recommended. Also, ensure you apply the herbicide when there’s no dew left on the plants. However, note that chemical herbicides differ. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s usage and application instructions.

Which is better? Pulling out weeds vs. spraying weeds

Two of the most common weed removal techniques are spraying and pulling out weeds. Both techniques have pros and cons. The weed removal technique you choose will often depend on your requirements.

But generally, both methods are effective at combating weeds in your garden. However, pulling out weeds consumes a lot of time and effort, and spraying herbicides can tamper with the growth of desirable plants.

Whichever method you choose, ensure you follow the proper procedures. For example, when pulling out weeds, you always start at the roots. On the flip side, when using herbicides or adding fertilizers, ensure you follow all the manufacturer’s instructions.