How to get rid of those Pesky Weeds!
Feb 23rd 2015
If you were to track every hour that you spend weeding your garden you’d probably be upset to find that you spend an inordinate amount of time on this daunting task. While your first few times may feel satisfying, pulling soon becomes a never ending job. But did you know that your garden needs weeds?
You may be surprised to hear that weeds are a natural remedy to those plants that are not growing or are injured. And instead of fighting with natures heeling ways, gardeners can follow these simple steps to creating a beautiful yard, without the unreasonable amount of time weeding.
1. Allow your sleeping weeds to lie.
Every garden contains weed seeds. And while there are several layers of these weed seeds, only those in the top inch or two of soil receive enough sunlight to trigger germination. Every time we begin weeding our yards or gardens we bring new seeds to the surface, like angry little ants in an anthill. So how do we stop weed seeds from continuing to surface? Well it’s simple really. Dig only when it’s imperative to salve a disturbed spot with plants or mulch. In lawns, using a sharp knife or other instrument with a narrow blade minimize soil disturbances. Using these instruments to slice through the roots of dandelions and other weeds sever their feed source.
If you like mulch, it is one of the easiest ways to keep weeds from popping up in your yard! Mulch benefits plants by keeping the soil cool and moist and deprives weeds of light! While mulching, it’s important to remember to only mulch about 3 inches deep (anything more will deprive the soil of oxygen). And though sometimes light passes through the mulch, it’s easy to get rid of the weeds by replenishing the mulch as needed.
3. Pull when wet, hoe when dry!
This old saying is wise advice when facing weeds. After a drenching rain is the best time to get dirty and pull those old weeds up. You can use anything that will pull these little pesky thugs such as an old table fork. Under dry conditions weeds sliced off just below the soil line promptly shrivel up and die. Here you can use an old table knife to sever the weeds from their roots.
4. Off with their Heads!
Unfortunately you can’t always remove weeds, but the next best thing is chopping off their heads! Cutting back the tops of perennial weeds, like bindweed, reduces reseeding and forces them to start using their reserve “food” to continue life. After a while their supply is limited and reduces their chance of spreading.
5. Get rid of those gaps!
Another super easy way to keep weeds from growing is of course, denying them light! You can do this by planting certain plants closer together creating more shaded areas and less weed growth. However, follow spacing recommendations so as not to overlap plants as they mature to their full size.
6. Don’t water those suckers!
Remember, watering weeds allows them to grow, so in order to deprive them of growth, deprive them of water. Set boundaries around the plants you want watered so as not to give them what they need. Placing a drip or soaker hose beneath mulch efficiently irrigates plants.
Along with these strategies, always look into using organic matter to rid your garden of weeds. Soil scientists know that fewer weed seeds germinate when surrounded by organic matter or soil that contains fresh infusions of good compost. And organic matter helps heal plants in need!