Weed Control The Easier, Organic Way
Weed control was a bit of a mystery to me as a newbie gardener. I thought I had two options: manually weed, or use some sort of herbicide. I dislike using herbicides (especially around plants I intend to eat), and weeding was, well, time consuming and not very fun.
And then I discovered several techniques that drastically cut down on the time I spent weeding. Here are my 5 earth friendly tips that will help you spend less time working on your garden, and more time enjoying your garden!
Create An Edge
An edge is basically a shallow trench you dig around the, well, edge of your garden bed. It prevents weeds from growing into the bed, looks nice, and makes it easier to mow next to the bed. This great video from This Old House explains the how-tos.
Weed First, Weed Well
The next step is to weed very, very, VERY thoroughly. The more weeds you pull before putting down mulch, the better. Weeds are tenacious survivors, and the more you get rid of right at the start, the less you’ll have to pull later. And if you don't have the time or inclination to weed first?
A layer of newspaper or cardboard under a layer of wood mulch chips will help a great deal with weed control, especially if you don't have time for a thorough pre-weeding. Also, layering different organic materials can be very beneficial to your soil.
If you do use just wood chip mulch, make sure to use at least a 2 inch layer (although 3 inches is best).
Maintain. . .Regularly
You will see weeds pop up through the mulch. It's just going to happen! But you won't see as many as in bare soil, and if you devote just a little time on a regular basis to pulling them, I promise that in the end you will spend more time enjoying your garden than weeding your garden!
Mulch, Rinse, Repeat
Actually, no rinsing is necessary, but applying more mulch will, eventually, be something that needs to happen! Because mulch is an organic substance, it decomposes over time. This is good for your soil, because it adds organic matter, but it does mean that every other year or so (depending on the type of mulch and weather conditions) you'll need to add additional mulch.
When you start to see bare soil, it is time to consider more mulch so the weeds don't have a change to get in there and grow!
Have any great suggestions for easier weed control minus herbicides? Let me know in the comments!
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