chapter  Chapter 26
8 Pages

Plan Before You Plant: A Five-Step Process for Developing a Landscape Weed Management Plan

WithJoseph C. Neal

Supplemental hand weeding accounts for the majority of landscape bed maintenance costs. When used exclusively, it can cost 10 to 100 times as much as an effective herbicide or mulching program. However, many of the costly and unsightly weed problems can be avoided or at least minimized with a little planning. Adequate site assessment will allow proper species selection based upon design criteria, cultural suitability, and management regime, including weed management. The species to be planted will define the intensity of management required and, to a large degree, govern the future weed management options. Two options set woody tree and shrub beds apart from the rest; one is the possibility of post-plant perennial weed control, the other is the use of geotextile fabrics for annual weed control. Geotextiles are synthetic fabrics which allow water and air to pass, but prevent weed seedling emergence.