Chickweed refers to a cool season plant that is common in Europe and North America. It is also known by other names, such as satin flower and starwort. A common weed in the lawn, its maximum height is only two inches. It may be low-growing, but it is thick and dense, which makes it annoying to have in the garden.
A hardy and prolific weed, it can be invasive. It is a nuisance in the garden, which is why it is important to learn how to kill chickweed. You can control it manually by hand-pulling the weed or through spraying herbicides, among other methods. Read on and we’ll share with you some of the best things to do to control and eliminate this weed in the garden.
Manual Removal of Chickweed
The simplest way to kill chickweed is to remove it by hand. Because this will involve manual work, this works best only if the weed is in a small area. Before pulling the chickweed, make sure that the ground is dry. If it is wet, stem nodes and seeds on the ground may germinate, and hence, the chickweed will return in no time.
Start by wearing garden gloves. Grab the plant by hand, and pull it from the ground with enough force. Once you are done, keep it in a plastic bag. Clean the area to prevent re-growth of the chickweed. Throw the bag in a place far from the garden.
Maintenance of a Healthy Lawn
Another simple way of killing chickweed is through basic lawn maintenance. Sometimes, because we are too busy or lazy, we tend to ignore the lawn and this is where weeds start appearing and become invasive.
One of the ways to maintain a healthy lawn is through making sure that you do not soak it with water. If there is one thing that chickweed loves, it is wet soil. With this, keep it dry to prevent the growth of weeds.
Other Natural Methods to Kill Chickweed
Aside from basic lawn maintenance and hand-pulling, there are other methods that will be effective in dealing with weeds. One of the things you can consider is mulching, although this is more of a preventive measure. The application of two-inch of organic mulch, such as wood chips will inhibit the germination of the seeds.
For natural herbicides, on the other hand, you can use vinegar. This is an acidic spray that will help control the infestation of the weeds. In some cases, pouring boiling water on the top of the soil will also do the trick.
Solarizing soil is also a simple solution that you might want to consider in dealing with chickweed. Simply put, soil solarization is a method of decontamination of the soil. This is done by using a clear polyethylene cover that makes use of heat and solar energy to kill the seeds and prevent their germination.
Using Herbicides to Kill Chickweed
Herbicides are also effective in killing chickweeds, especially when they are applied in direct contact. Pay attention to the ingredients in the herbicide and the instructions from the manufacturer.
Among others, one of the most common ingredients in herbicides for killing chickweed is glyphosate. Round-up is a popular brand that contains this active ingredient. It attacks the root system to kill the plant, making it useful for its eradication. However, the problem with this herbicide is that it kills not only chickweed, but other types of grass as well.
As a preventive measure, it is also best to use a pre-emergent herbicide, specifically one that contains trifluralin. This will help in inhibiting the sprouting or germination of the seeds that are already on the surface. Nonetheless, do not disturb the soil after the application of the herbicide as this can minimize its effectiveness.
Now that you are done reading, we hope that the discussions above on how to kill chickweed have been helpful. As you can see, dealing with the weed is not a difficult task. You can choose from natural and chemical methods. If possible, however, choose natural solutions to prevent adverse effects, especially on the plants that you do not want to eradicate in the lawn.