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Beware: ‘Tis the Season of Seeds


With ambient temperatures on the rise across the U.S. this season, almost everything in the plant world is early. Plants bloomed ahead of schedule, insect infestations ignored the calendar and, now, weed seeds that usually come at the end of the year are beginning to creep into lawns early.

That makes it time to trot out the common sense message: IF YOU DON’T WANT MORE OF THE SAME WEEDS NEXT SEASON, GET RID OF THIS YEAR’S SEEDS.

I’m not a fan of bagging mowers. It’s a much better idea to return the clippings to the lawn, where they quickly biodegrade and provide nutrients and valuable organic matter. In September and October, though, a bag attachment can make quick work of collecting the seeds from plantain, crabgrass, goosegrass and scores of other weeds that send up seeds in the fall.

Of course, these can also be dug out by hand or spot sprayed with a non-selective organic weed killer. But for large lawns, the bag is the most practical solution.

One Important Note: Once you have collected the weeds and seeds, don’t add these to the compost pile unless you’re a master composter who can routinely guarantee temperatures of 130-150 degrees in the pile. Instead, take the weeds and seeds way out into the woods where they won’t germinate or place them in a biodegradable bag where they’ll be recycled at the municipal transfer station.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

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