Summer Weeds Gone Wild

After weeks of early rain, the summer of 2019 turned south Florida as green as it gets. For those with newly planted lawns, seedlings took off like a NASCAR at Daytona. Flowers bloomed and made new seeds, as did every other living plant…especially weeds. And because of the Roundup Debate worldwide, those aggressive weeds are winning the day.

The debate began in 1974 when Monsanto packaged the molecule “glyphosate” as the active ingredient in a new product called Roundup. It quickly became an overnight sensation in the herbicide world because it attacks and kills a weed’s roots. Twenty years later, Farm Chemicals Magazine said that it “helped change the face of agriculture.” And why not? No product other than glyphosate kills the root; alternatives only kill the leaves and flowers, but not the root. No root, no weed. 

When Monsanto’s patent expired in 2000, other companies throughout the world began to produce their own version of Roundup. Because chemicals must be safe, glyphosate was routinely tested and evaluated. Some studies said glyphosate presented a “low risk” to human health, and others said it’s cariogenic. Whether glyphosate causes cancer is still being disputed — in the labs and in the courts.

So how do we fight weeds without using glyphosate? Here are few tricks any homeowner can use: 

  • block light with deeper mulch around landscape plants.
  • prevent weed seed production and spread by keeping landscape beds clean. 
  • weed early and often, before weeds grow strong root systems and before they go to seed.
  • use herbicide alternatives to wilt the leaves of weeds and slow seed production.
  • manually remove the weeds before they go to seed.
  • use post-emergence herbicides to kill to the top of weed on contact.
  • let Jenkins Landscape’s crews do it for you.

Jenkins Landscape is doing everything in our power to reduce our use of Glyphosate to zero and are actively testing alternative products. We will stay on top of the Roundup health issues and share significant updates with our readers as they are published. In the meantime, for all our valued customers, weed control will be top-of-mind this summer as we continue to design, plant and maintain beautiful landscapes.

The Power of Plants

— Good reasons why any time is the right time to green up your South Florida yard —

Here’s a challenge! Step outside, take a deep breath, then thank the millions of plants that filter out dust and pollutants from the air you breathe.

Shade trees and windbreaks reduce energy consumption, helping you pay less for electricity and reducing your carbon footprint. Landscaping adds 7 to 15% value to real estate and speeds property sales. Plants provide habitat for wildlife that support our ecosystem, including songbirds, butterflies and bees.

Green lawns are up to 30 degrees cooler than pavement and produce a moderating effect for our environment. Roots and tree canopies stabilize soil and control erosion. Strategically placed trees and shrubs add privacy and reduce traffic noise.

Purple Orchid in Bloom

The filtering effect of vegetation also helps produce cleaner water in rivers and streams, reduces runoff and the need for water retention areas.

On the human side, gardening as a hobby produces health-related benefits through exercise. Beautiful landscapes encourage feeling of calm, relaxation, and well-being. Studies how that plants stimulate healing as well as intellectual, social, emotional and physical development. Step outside again, take a look around. What can you do to encourage more green in your environment?