Every garden, no matter how well attended, will have weeds. Weeds and plants grow together ; the difference is that some seeds germinate, while others don’t.
Weed seeds at least 2 inches within your soil will likely germinate if they get enough light. They will thrive if you constantly dig and cultivate the soil around them.
It’s best that you dig only when necessary, and cover any exposed areas with mulch or plants.
When caring for your lawn or garden, use a sharp knife or blade to cut away the roots of weeds. Do not dig them up.
Since weeds thrive in direct sunlight, cover the ground with mulch.
- Mulch helps block out excess light and keeps the soil well moisturized and cool.
- Organic mulch also helps to attract “friendly” bugs and beetles which feed on weed seeds.
You will need to top up on mulching when necessary to keep it at least 2 inches deep. This will help keep weed seeds from penetrating the soil surface.
Covering can come from newspapers, cardboard, and light-blocking material. Place these over the area before spreading mulch to minimize light.
Remove any excess seed seeds from the area before laying the landscape material. It will help retard the seeds from germinating or new seeds from accumulating with the potential to grow and spread.
To control proliferation of weeds, you need to schedule regular upkeep. Regular weeding will keep you from becoming overwhelmed, especially if you are new to gardening.
Limit your garden to manageable areas to keep weeds to a minimum.
Timing is Everything!
Weed your gardens when the conditions are right.
- After a shower of rain, the soil becomes loose. Pull when it’s
- Pull weeds from the roots to your heart’s content.
When it’s dry, weed the roots with a hoe. Chop the weeds with the sharpest edge at the point just below the surface.
If there is mulch, cut the weeds at the root level with an old steak knife. Be sure to cover any exposed areas with extra mulch.
Heat Them Up!
After removing weeds, place them on a compost heap to disintegrate. As the temperature rises, the weeds will die. Compost can be re-applied as mulch.
Place rotting weeds in bags and leave them in the sun for up to three days to further decompose.
An old crock pot at the lowest setting can warm the compost in batches up to three hours at a time.
You can revitalize the plant nutrients lost in composting by adding a few earthworms to the batch.
Hack their Heads!
Chop off the heads of weeds, and force them to lose vital nutrients from their roots. A pruning shears or trimming blade will do the trick.
Fill in the Gaps!
Soil between garden beds will let in light and cause weed seeds to thrive. If you plant seedlings closer together, they will help to block out excess light.
Nourish Your Plants but Starve your Weeds
Water your plants with a drip irrigation or soaker hose system from underneath the plants. This will feed your plants but help isolate the weeds by keeping them dry.
Treat your soil regularly with organic substances. A healthy, well-fed soil will cause weeds to retreat.