Can trimming, pruning, & mowing be used to control weeds effectively?


Can trimming, pruning, & mowing be used to control weeds effectively?


Cutting back or mowing off weeds is sometimes used to control weeds in the garden or lawn.  Timely or frequent cutting back stresses the weed and reduces its competitive advantage over more desirable plants.  Consistent removal of the upper portion of a weed, especially a perennial weed, will prevent weeds from shading nearby desirable plants and slows growth of the weed.

While weakened, weeds will grow back from the root system.  Rarely will the weed be killed by mowing or cutting back alone.  When weeds are cut back before they flower and set fruit, it can greatly reduce seed production and reduce new weeds from emerging.  This is particularly helpful for annual weeds that persist year to year by starting from new seed each season - fewer seeds means fewer weeds in the future.

Mowing or cutting back alone rarely controls weeds completely but it can be an effective management strategy in combintation with other weed control methods such as utilizing herbicides.  

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