Weed networks in Pachysandra
My wife loved taking care of the landscaping, but it has fallen to me. We have decades old Pachysandra sections of our front yard. I see many leaf based weeds rising above them. While I sprayed common leaf weed killer on many, I've noticed a "network" of weed vines growing below the healthy Pachysandra. How do I eradicate these networks? Or, should I expect to dig the whole section up and put in new dirt and reestablish the plants? Thank you in advance. Lenny Weiss Suburban Detroit MI.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Manually pull weeds, doing so slowly so that you get all the roots. If you yank too hard, the weeds break, leaving the roots in the ground. Pulling weeds is easier when the soil is moist. Pulling is one of the best methods to control weeds, especially broadleaf weeds.
Grow pachysandras close together so that they are planted 6 inches apart and in staggered rows. This allows the plants to fill in the area quickly, choking out weeds in the process. Often, pachysandras are planted 1 to 3 feet apart, but this makes the area more susceptible to weeds while the plants become established.
Fill in the space between pachysandra plants with 2 to 3 inches of mulch, such as bark or wood chips. Mulch shades the exposed soil, preventing many types of weeds from growing.
Apply herbicides to kill weeds. Herbicides, such as one that contains fluazifop, kill grassy weeds, such as crabgrass, and do not harm pachysandra. For broadleaf weeds, it's best to use another cultural practice to manage the weeds, but if desired, you can paint on a nonselective herbicide, such as glyphosate. If any touches the pachysandra, it will harm it. You can also use a pre emergent herbicide if your pachysandra is established before weeds germinate. As with all herbicides, use product as instructed on the label.