Tips for Managing Weeds

  • Focus on building healthy, thriving plants in your yard. They'll fill in the open spaces and crowd out the weeds.
  • Monitor your yard often, looking for weeds on a regular schedule. It's easier to remove the small sprouts than to battle big, unpleasant weeds that have already dropped their seeds.
  • Get suspicious plants identified. Contact your local Extension office for help.
  • Learn how the weeds spread. The hardest weeds to control are those that grow back each year and spread by the roots (perennials). They'll take extra effort.
  • Don't remove all the vegetation in your yard. It helps to compete with the weeds.
  • Adjust the amount of water to favor the plants you want in your landscape.
  • Don't plant weeds. Use certified weed-free seed, mulch, and soil materials. Know your supplier and the source of the materials, and avoid those that come from weedy areas.
  • Use drip systems. They put the water where it's needed, reducing habitat for weeds.
  • Use mulches to make it more difficult for weeds to grow.
  • Pull, dig or hoe weeds early, before they can make seed.
 
Photo of a hand holding a weed that has just been pulled from the ground

Pull weeds when they are young and the roots are relatively small.

Photo of an empty lot covered with weeds

Bare ground invites weeds. Keep the surface
covered with mulch and avoid blading native
vegetation, which helps compete with weeds.

Hefner, M. 2019, Tips for Managing Weeds, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno. IP

Learn more about the author(s)

 

Also of Interest:

 
Photo of mayweed chamomile plant with white flower
Nevada Noxious Weed Field Guide – Mayweed chamomile
Mayweed chamomile is a noxious weed that has been identified by the state of Nevada to be harmful to agriculture, the general public, or the environment. Learn more about this weed.
Blecker, L., Creech, E., Dick, J., Gephart, S., Hefner, M., Kratsch, H., Moe, A., Schultz, B. 2021, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Field Guide
Native bee on desert marigold
Using native plants to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects - workshop and plant giveaway
These workshops in Reno and Elko will cover the fascinating ecology of our native pollinators and how to use native plants to provide critical habitat for them and pest control services for you. In addition, there will be a plant giveaway at the end of the workshop!
Burls, K.J. and H. Kratsch 2021, University of Nevada, Reno Event Calendar
Macrosiphum rosae, the rose aphid.
Know Nevada Insects: Aphids
This publication explains the biology and general management of aphids, one of the most common garden pests in Nevada. There are many alternatives to chemicals when treating aphids, including using native predators and protecting plants with lightweight physical covers.
Burls, K. and H. Kratsch 2020, University of Nevada, Reno, FS 20-30
African mustard plant
Nevada Noxious Weed Field Guide - African mustard
African mustard is a noxious weed that has been identified by the state of Nevada to be harmful to agriculture, the general public, or the environment. Learn more about this weed.
Blecker, L., Creech, E., Dick, J., Gephart, S., Hefner, M., H. Kratsch, Moe, A., Schultz, B. 2020, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Field Guide
Photo of Common St. Johnswort plant
Nevada Noxious Weed Field Guide – Common St. Johnswort
Common St. Johnswort is a noxious weed that has been identified by the state of Nevada to be harmful to agriculture, the general public, or the environment. Learn more about this weed.
Blecker, L., Creech, E., Dick, J., Gephart, S., Hefner, M., Kratsch, H., Moe, A., Schultz, B. 2020, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Field Guide
 

Associated Programs

ladybug larva eating aphids on a pepper plant

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management program is a long-term management strategy that uses a combination of tactics to reduce pests to tolerable levels with potentially lower costs for the pest manager and minimal effect on the environment.