Interloper Interference

Interloper Interference

Nuisance Nonsense

Frustrated with weeds popping up in your flower and shrub beds? While there may be herbicide applications that could help, there are some things you can do to try to prevent the invasion or control them culturally and mechanically.


Mulch can provide a barrier to sunlight which will inhibit germination of weeds. Cover the soil around your plants roots in beds or along rows, make sure there is some room around the root flare and the layer is only 2 to 3 inches deep. If weeds persist a layer of newspaper (black and white newsprint only) can be added between the soil and mulch, if this still doesn’t do the trick you may consider plastic mulch. Consult your arborist for recommendations which type of mulch to use and in-depth installation details.


In some instances establishing a healthy, vigorous ground cover crop will ward off weed invasion. Check with your local nursery and consult with your arborist to decide on the right ground cover for your region and landscape.

Manual removal

While it may not be any fun, every day control of a random weed or two will require manual pulling. Wear gloves and use knee pads or a stool if weed problem is more extensive. Make sure to remove the root along with the vegetative portion to inhibit regrowth.

Mechanical Removal

Weeds may require digging with a spade, trowel or fork or other tool to remove the entirety of the root mass. If the roots prove too much to fight against, chop off their shoots once per week, eventually the stress will kill them.

Clean Margins

Keep your lawn trimmed around your beds to keep lawn weeds from moving in.

Bait and Cut

Head off weeds at the pass by forcing germination and growth and then eliminating them prior to planting your garden or tending your beds. In the early spring lay clear plastic over the soil in your beds or gardens, this will warm up the soil and encourage seeds to germinate. Once they breach the surface by a few inches, pull them out and establish your own plants.

Irrigate Accordingly

Water only plants that need it; use drip irrigation placed closely to desired plants, aim hose carefully and or place sprinkler appropriately and use lower pressure. By not watering unplanted areas you may avoid cultivation of undesirable species.

Always contact your arborist for advice and with any landscape related questions!