Weeds seem to have a nasty little way of marring our beautiful handiwork in the yard. Wouldn't life be wonderful if all our hard work wasn't sabotaged by these little nuisances?

To put a cap on how much of a foothold these devils can take in your yard this year, apply pre-emergent weed controls now and use post-emergent methods later. Pre-emergent means to apply just before weeds germinate and show their ugly little heads. Post-emergent means to stick it to them when they do arrive.

Today's controls pose very little environmental threat because of the extensive treating these remedies undergo before they reach the garden center shelves. Just make certain you follow the directions exactly for correct application rates.

There are two general kinds of weeds. Leafy types are recognized by their broad leaves. These include the well known dandelion and chickweed. Grassy types are similar to the grasses we cultivate but are not welcome additions to the yard. Two easily recognized grassy type weeds include crabgrass and foxtail.

Right now is the best time to apply pre-emergent controls. It is the simplest way to control these plants. Pre-emergent controls are applied just before the plant seeds germinate and stop them from becoming full fledged weeds.

Even though you can't see the weeds right now, you can be sure that if you had them last year, you will have them this year. And even if you were fortunate not to have any weeds in your yard, it's a good bet you may have them this year because their seeds are easily transmitted by the wind and animals. Therefore, apply pre-emergent controls where weeds appeared last year, and where they might show up in the lawn or shrub beds again this year.

Pre-emergent herbicides come in either liquid or granular form. Liquid herbicides are diluted with water and then sprayed over the area. Granular pre-emergent controls are dispersed with either drop type or broadcast spreaders. Each kind has its own coverage requirements and the directions should be followed according to the manufacturer's recommendations on the label.

Even if you thoroughly apply pre-emergent herbicides now, a few weeds are still bound to show their ugly little heads later this season. When that occurs, you need to apply post-emergent herbicides which are designated as such on the label, or reapply pre-emergent. These also come in liquid and granular forms.

It is best to apply post-emergent remedies while the plants are still young. The tissue of the plant is still tender and will absorb thew controls more quickly than when the plant is more mature and the tissue becomes tougher.

One post-emergent method which is absolutely futile is to pick or dig dandelions. Those nuisances have roots up to two feet in length and when broken off grow right back.

Pre-emergent weed controls must be applied right now before weeds appear, but if a few survive this remedy, apply post-emergent herbicides when they do show their ugly little heads.

Article by Fred Hower