How to Make a Steam Weed Killer. Weeds are an unavoidable fact of gardening. No matter how attentive you are to your garden, they’ll find a way to pop up — seemingly overnight, and with more vigor each time. Though an entire industry has been built upon miracle-working herbicides, one of the most effective and … Late Winter Seeding for Home Lawns and Selecting Turfgrasses Late winter seeding techniques can vary depending on which month your seeding occurs. The old remedy of seeding prior to a snowfall Weed And Seed Home Depot Is working at home depot hard. An providing great customer services a. Is working at home depot hard. An providing great customer services an having great 1,311 Home
How to Make a Steam Weed Killer
When it comes to weed killers, many products on the market contain chemicals that could be harmful to people, pets and the environment as a whole. Safer options such as hot water or steam effectively kill isolated weeds without any chemicals at all. Some moisture-based weeding equipment requires a hot-water pressure washer, but smaller steaming tools or a tea kettle with boiling water also work well.
Steam to Kill Weeds
Steam works wonders when it comes to killing weeds. Weeds can’t tolerate the temperature of the ultra-moist air, or steam, as it coats the exposed areas of each plant. While flames are sometimes used to burn off weeds between cracks in pavement, a wet-heat method works much better since water is an excellent carrier of heat. Using steam to kill weeds heats the offending plants long enough to kill or at least greatly harm them as the heat transfers downward toward the roots.
Some effective, nontoxic weed killers use hot water instead of steam. A hot-water sprayer for weeds directs a thin stream of extremely hot water atop the weed crown, cooking the weed from the top down. For this type of device, treating the weed crown is all that’s necessary since the hot water bursts the plant’s tissues all the way down into the root. The leaves will die off on their own within a few days.
Some hot-water sprayers are relatively self-contained, while others such as the Karcher “steam” weeder tool are attachments designed to add to other devices. Karcher’s attachment connects to one of the company’s hot-water pressure washers, directing streams of hot water (rather than steam) directly atop weeds.
Either type of tool works well when treating weeds popping up in paved areas. Treating a weed amidst other plants, such as in the middle of a lawn, requires a sprayer with enough control to pinpoint only the weed. Otherwise, nearby grass may also be killed.
Steam Cleaner Bonus
Some rolling steam cleaners with long wand attachments also kill weeds and vice versa. Dynasteam equipment, for instance, offers attachments for killing weeds, removing wallpaper, steaming floors and directing steam into specific areas.
While the attachments are much like the attachments for vacuum cleaners, clothing steamers and household steam cleaning, the weed-killing attachments are quite different. For instance, a triple-pronged attachment is designed to shoot steam underground around the plant’s roots and the plant’s crown for improved chances of success.
If you already own an indoor/outdoor steam cleaner, you may be able to use it to kill weeds with steam. Use an attachment that emits steam in a specific small stream to target individual weeds. Be sure to wear boots or water-resistant footwear and pants to avoid burns. Do not use this or any other plug-in device during rain or while the yard or pavement is soaked, as the moisture around the cord could pose an electrical hazard if the cord has any cuts in it.
Boiling Water DIY Method
If you don’t own a steam cleaner, you can still make your own hot water and steam weed killer to treat pesky weeds growing in gravel, between pavers and other locations away from desirable plants. Boil water in a tea kettle and keep a metal pot handy. While wearing sturdy work gloves, shoes, pants and a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, pour some boiling water directly atop the offending plant from an inch or so above it and then quickly place the metal pot upside down over the weed. The hot water plus steam will kill the weed, although it may take several days for the weed to completely shrivel up.
Remove the pot after a minute or so, as the hot water and steam do most of the work within the first few seconds of application. Proceed with additional weeds as long as the water is still hot enough to create steam.
This method works best for small areas, as it would take a while to repeatedly boil water, apply it, refill the kettle and boil water again. Pouring water directly out of a larger pot is not recommended, as it is harder to direct the water flow and control splashing. Hot water and steam weed killers will also kill other more desirable plant growth, so apply them with caution.
Late Winter Seeding for Home Lawns and Selecting Turfgrasses
Late winter seeding techniques can vary depending on which month your seeding occurs. The old remedy of seeding prior to a snowfall does warrant some credibility if done at the right time of the late winter or early spring. This procedure will work from late January through February if there is an excellent chance of getting the seed down to the soil surface. Melting snow will mud-in the seed just enough to achieve germination. This is not necessarily the best method; however germination rates should be sufficient to improve a thinned stand of turfgrass.
A second option is to broadcast seed on mostly bare soil that may have been tilled or loosened the previous fall. This can be done through the month of February when weather conditions will still bring forth a series of freezing and thawing periods. Freezing and thawing of bare soil produces small ice-forming, peaks and ridges in the surface of the soil creating cracks and crevices for seed to fall into and eventually cover with soil. Germination rates for this type of seeding is very good and allows seed to establish very early offering some competition against summer annual grasses and broadleaves.
Normal late winter/early spring seeding practices after the final thaw can involve two procedures. The first includes complete tillage of the area being seeded, however this requires drier conditions for the soil to work. Over-seeding on freshly tilled, graded soil offers a perfect seedbed and only requires minor raking or dragging to work the seed into the soil. Germination should be as complete as the seed label specifies. Straw may be needed to help hold the soil and serve as a little mulch until germination takes off. One bale of straw per 1,000 square feet is recommended on freshly tilled soil.
Seeding with a power-seeder or slit-seeder will plant turfgrass seed without the need for complete tillage. These can be rented at most rental or hardware stores for a nominal fee. They can be used for complete renovation jobs as well as partial renovations on thinned out areas of your lawn. They simply plant seed into a powder seedbed or actually plant the seed into shallow furrows on 3-inch centers. Achieving good seed to soil contact is the most effective way to get complete germination of your seed, as these two techniques perform. These procedures generally do not require the use of straw.
Keep in mind that late winter/early spring seeding may not allow the use of many pre-emergent herbicides (crabgrass preventers) for annual grass control, however there are two that are available. Tupersan (siduron) can be applied at any time seed is planted, but is best with applications during the last week of March through the first two weeks of April even though grass seed may have been planted much earlier. Dimension is a product that can be used for annual grass control (crabgrass, foxtails, etc.) after a new stand of grass has had two mowings. Grass seed planted very early could possibly receive two mowings by mid-April, therefore allowing for an application of Dimension. Many other pre-emergent products require the grass to be well established.
A quality lawn containing the recommended mixtures of species or blends of turfgrass varieties can be a difficult decision and process. Selecting turfgrasses is dependent on how you manage your lawn and what you expect of your lawn. Managing a lawn involves frequency of mowing, how often you fertilize, will you water your lawn or not and will you use crabgrass preventers and/or products to control turfgrass diseases and insects. Once you know the answers to these questions, you can then decide which specie blend or mixture of species you wish to establish.
All seed bags will have a seed label printed, pasted or sown on the bag. There are several pieces of information on a seed label that needs consideration prior to purchasing the product.
Species name, name of variety, purity, germination, weed seed and noxious weeds should be noted when looking at a seed label. Species name and name of variety will obviously tell you if it is the seed you want. Purity of the seed should be greater than 90%. Germination of the seed should be greater than 85% with a test date no longer than 12 months ago. Two other key pieces of information include the weed seed content and noxious weed percentages. Avoid products containing large amounts of weed seeds such as annual bluegrass or common bluegrass and others; as well as products containing noxious weeds.
Blends of Kentucky bluegrass look very rich with dark blue-green colors, have pretty good resistance to brown patch disease, however, they do require more inputs of fertilizer and water to maintain that rich cover through the summer months. They are also more susceptible to dollar spot, leaf spot and summer patch diseases. Selecting bluegrass varieties that offer some resistance to some of these diseases is a practical first step in lawn establishment. Bluegrasses do develop tillers and small rhizomes, which allow bluegrasses to recover from thinning or other problems.
Blends of turf-type tall fescues can give deep emerald green appearances with a slightly coarser texture than the bluegrass. They tend to be a deeper rooting plant, therefore requiring less water than the bluegrass. They are not as susceptible to dollar spot and summer patch, but generally will require fungicides for the control of brown patch. There are several varieties of turf-type tall fescues that offer better resistance to brown patch than other varieties, therefore selecting the more resistant varieties will improve turf quality. Tall fescues will tiller to help with recovery, but tend to be clumpy with severe thinning.
Mixtures, such as turf-type tall fescue with bluegrass (90% fescue, 10% bluegrass), combine the advantages of each species to mask the weaknesses of the other. Mixtures with perennial ryegrass should not exceed 20% perennial ryegrass as it is very susceptible to most of the diseases list above. Ryegrass is not very heat or drought tolerant and does not recover from thinning of cover.
So which varieties do you select once you decide on a blend or mixture? There are many resources available that list turfgrass varieties for Missouri. State turfgrass specialist, MU guide sheets, garden centers and other lawn care experts are good sources for information about turfgrass selections and varieties.
The difficulty for most individuals is trying to find the varieties suggested. Lowe’s, Home Depot, hardware stores and other garden centers cannot carry all of the premium varieties. However, they do carry some acceptable blends and mixtures.
Specific varieties, blends and mixtures available
The number of seed products being sold over-the-counter can be overwhelming to homeowners. However, by looking at the seed tags on products, several can be eliminated immediately. These include products that contain large percentages of ryegrasses. Many of these seed products are packaged for national sales and while they are excellent products for many areas of the country, they are not the best for the type of climate we deal with in Missouri. Concentrate more on the products that are tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass blends or mixtures of tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. By doing this the selection choices becomes more narrow and simplified.
Individual varieties (from different venders) of tall fescues can be found locally to create your own blends. Measure equal portions of each variety used and combine thoroughly in a large clean bucket or trashcan. You have now created your own tall fescue blend. Some of the tall fescue varieties available locally include:
|Turf-type Tall Fescue Variety||Vendor|
|Falcon II||Ace Hardware, MFA|
|Rebel Exceda||Home Depot|
Several pre-packaged blends of tall fescue can also be found. These will generally have some of the better varieties acceptable for Missouri, but it still does not hurt to check those seed tags. These include:
|Turf-type Tall Fescue Blends||Vendor|
|Revolution||Ace Hardware, Williams Lawn Seed|
|Winning Colors||Lebanon Turf|
|Pennington (turf-type) Tall Fescue Blend||Lowe’s and other fine retailers|
|Rebel Supreme Blend Grass Seed||Lowe’s and other fine lawn & garden retailers|
|Rebels Elite||Home Depot|
|Scott’s Classic Tall Fescue Blend||Lowe’s, Home Depot|
The next selections are Kentucky bluegrasses; some may have only a single variety, others are blends. One can always check the seed tag to know what you are purchasing. These products usually offer some of the better varieties acceptable for Missouri as well. They include:
|Scott’s Classic Kentucky Bluegrass Seed||Lowe’s, Home Depot|
|Pennington Kentucky Bluegrass Lawn Seed Blend||Lowe’s and other fine retailers|
|Tournament Quality Kentucky Bluegrass Lawn Seed Blend||Lowe’s|
|Pennington Kentucky Bluegrass Penkoted Lawn Seed||Lowe’s and other fine retailers|
|Scott’s Turf Builder Kentucky Bluegrass Grass Seed||Home Depot|
The mixture we discussed with tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass has several nice combinations available over-the-counter. Many venders also feel the 90/10 combination of tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass is an excellent choice. Of all mixtures, this is possibly the best for Missouri. Some of these products include:
|Tall Fescue/Bluegrass Mixtures||Vendor|
|Revolution Plus||Williams Lawn Seed|
|Winning Colors Plus||Lebanon Turf|
|Tournament Quality Ultra Premium Fescue Plus Lawn Mixture||Lowe’s|
|Pennington Tall Fescue & Kentucky Bluegrass Lawn Seed Mixture||Lowe’s and other fine retailers|
|Master Turf Ultimate Blue Lawn Seed Mixture||Wal-Mart|
The above information is intended to make the selection process for turfgrass seed less troublesome and giving you more confidence in your choices. Be sure to always check with your local garden centers first for availability of these products, since all stores do not carry complete product lines.
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