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Summer Gardening Tips for Weed Control: Keep Your Yard Looking Great!

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

Weed control is essential for the success of your summer garden and yard during monsoon season in Arizona, especially if you have a smaller yard or limited space.

Tucson professional landscapers know that weeds can take over and completely ruin the look and feel of your outdoor space if you don’t take care of them properly. Read on to learn more about ways to prevent weeds from taking over your yard this summer!

Weed Identification

Knowing what types of weeds you have growing in your yard is the first step in weed control. Without proper identification, you risk killing your desired plants in your yard! Learn the common weeds in your area, as well as their growing habits, so you can identify and kill them quickly. Some common summer weeds in Arizona include: Buffelgrass - Buffelgrass is an invasive grass from Africa that out-competes native desert plants and is a fire hazard. Desert Broom - Desert Broom is a native desert plant that has become a nuisance. Desert Broom can grow to twelve feet tall and causes allergies for many desert dwellers. It tends to grow on disturbed grounds such as construction sites and the sides of roads. Tumbleweed - Tumbleweed is another desert weed that is very familiar in its' dried state as seen in many old western films usually seen tumbling through towns. Young Tumbleweeds are green and attached to the ground by roots. When they mature, they dry, detach, and spread their seeds by rolling. This allows them to spread their seeds in new areas. Spurge - Spurge is another summer weed that can be found in dry compacted soils. These mats of weeds enjoy our summer heat and monsoon rains and can harbor stinging ants

Photo by Deborah Munoz-Chacon

Weed Pulling

Pulling weeds rather than using herbicides is a safer, cheaper, and more eco-friendly option. It’s also a great way to get some exercise while doing a good deed in your yard. Weed pulling is a great way to control a few weeds, but not all of them. Common weeds that can be pulled include: Desert Broom - Desert Broom can be pulled when they are small. They have a deep root. So, once they get larger, they become too difficult to pull. Tumbleweed - Tumbleweeds can be pulled but make sure to wear gloves. Tumbleweeds have small thorns that can hurt your hands. Spurge - Spurge can be hand-pulled. Try to remove Spurge while there are minimal Spurge plants because they produce a large number of viable seeds very quickly. All these weeds can also be removed with a hula hoe when the weeds are small enough. A hula hoe allows you to hoe out the weed without having to bend over and hand pull them. This tool is often used by professional landscapers to help reduce the time it takes to remove weeds.

Pre-emergent Weed Control

Pre-emergent weed control is an herbicide that prevents seeds from germinating in the soil. This can be a great method for keeping weeds at bay if you know the types of weeds in your area, and you know where they grow. Pre-emergent weed control can be applied in Arizona in the winter and summer when there is rain. This prevents weeds from germinating by creating a barrier between the weed seed and the soil top. However, it does not affect existing weeds or ones that have already germinated in your soil. Pre-emergent weed control for your yard is sometimes combined with other herbicides to kill off pests, like grubs, that are living in the soil and can kill agaves and other desert plants. Pre-emergent controls for weeds in your landscape include organics like corn gluten and conventional products like pendimethalin.

Organic Options

An organic herbicide is made from natural products, like corn gluten. These products are used to prevent weeds from germinating. Corn gluten is typically used in gardens, yards, and small plots of land. Another great option to keep weeds at bay is mulching. Mulching is the process of covering the ground in your garden or yard with bark, leaves, rocks or any other type of organic matter. This creates a barrier between the soil and the weeds, and can also help keep the soil moist.

Image by sandid from Pixabay

Post-Emergent Weed Killer

Once weeds have germinated and are growing a post-emergent is needed. Roundup contains glyphosate, which can kill anything it comes into contact with. This includes the plants you want to keep! Roundup should be sprayed from a ready-to-use container or applied with a sprayer, never doused on the leaves or stem of the plant. Roundup works best on warm, sunny days, but can be applied on slightly cooler days as long as there isn’t a chance of rain that day. Rain will wash it away.


Weed control is essential for success in any garden. To control weeds, you must understand the types of weeds in your area and their habits. Weeds can be prevented and even killed by using pre-emergent herbicides, pulling weeds, mulching, and using the right gardening and landscaping methods. Choose an appropriate method of weed control based on the types of weeds in your area and the type of garden or yard you have. With the right approach, you can keep weeds out of your garden and yard and have a great summer!

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