Getting rid of weeds is a tedious but essential gardening task. Weeds compete with your plants for water, sunlight and nutrients – and could potentially kill off some of these plants as a result by depriving them of these needs. To help reduce weed growth in your garden, I’ve compiled a few tips to help you get started.
Simple Tips To Control Weed Growth In Your Garden
Weeding the garden is one of my least favorite outdoor chores. It can be time consuming and require some backbreaking work, depending on the weed. There are ways to keep weeds from growing in the garden in the first place.
Add mulch to soil
Mulching is one of the most effective ways to prevent weed growth. It involves covering the soil around plants with a layer of organic matter. Without access to sunlight, weeds will not be able to grow. The mulch could also help to provide nutrients to your soil, and maintain moisture in the plants allow you to water your plants less!
There are lots of different types of organic matter that you can use as mulch including wood chips, compost or newspaper. Be sure to buy mulch in large quantities. It’s important to that there is enough organic matter covering the soil, but you don’t want to overdo it as the soil may retain too much moisture.
Avoid too much cultivation
Disturbing the soil can cause existing weed seeds to be pushed to the surface. This may encourage weeds to grow that may not have otherwise germinated.
Consequently, you should try to avoid as much digging or tilling as possible. Lasagna gardening is a method sometimes used to discourage this, however this can cause your garden to suffer the same problems as over-mulching if you’re not careful.
Try different herbicides
There are a number of chemical herbicides on the market that can effectively kill off existing weeds and prevent weed growth, however these may cause long-lasting environmental damage, so you should use them sparingly.
It could be worth trying a few natural ways of killing weeds such as using vinegar or boiling water. You can find a few other organic herbicide ideas at Tree Hugger.
Solarizing is a common method of preventing weed growth in soil that relies on solar energy. It involves laying a clear plastic sheet over an area of soil and burying the edges. The plastic traps heat beneath it and then heats the soil to temperatures that kills off any weeds.
It’s a useful method to use in summer when the temperatures are highest and should be done for a period of weeks. You’ll find that it’s most effective when used on heavy duty soils such as clay.
Realize that some weeds can be beneficial
While you don’t want your beds to dominated by weeds, leaving a few weeds may not do any harm. Some weeds can help fertilize the soil and increase moisture. Others can deter pests or may attract beneficial insects.
A few examples of weeds that can be beneficial to your garden include clover, dandelions and chickweed. Such weeds may even be possible to use in cooking and could be harvested alongside any food crops that you may be growing.
Weeding your garden can be a pain, but with a few simple tricks, the work can be mitigated. Creating a plan for garden weed control from the beginning can really help you get ahead of the game and allow you to grow a thriving, weed-free garden!
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