Inside: 5 best steps for weed control when your garden is full of weeds. Gardening is hard work, so help yourself take back control, it's not too late. Find more gardening tips here.
Finally. The last seed was safely covered in the moist dark soil. It made all the work seem worth it, even with the help of two toddlers…who…well…made it a tiny bit…ack! Who’s to be kidding?? A HUGE bit harder.
But then there were swimming lessons to rush to and the warm weather made life just…BUSY.
And back in the garden two weeks later…ah…there’s a corn and a bean…way under there. Under the canopy of thistle, lamb’s quarter, a vine of some sort and the borage, which, truly, has gotten out of hand. And what in the world is that new weed??
Oh! What a mess! How could it have possibly gotten so out of hand?
Who has time to spend every evening from eight to ten weeding a garden only to turn around and have it taken over again almost immediately?
A garden needs to produce as much food as possible with the least amount of work. Is gardening hard work? Oh yes! But with a few weed control management techniques, it can be almost set on automation…the weed control at least. Because once it starts producing, a whole new set of work commences, now doesn’t it? Harvesting, canning, storing….eating…
The first thing that needs to take place is a complete mind switch about weeds.
They are valuable and many of them are very edible and even quite nutritious. They have saved our land from east to west coast in the years of drought and when the wind assails.
It would be well worth the time to read this article: Why Does My Garden Have Weeds? Here’s Why and How to Fix It. The answer may be surprising.
Of course, many people are avid weed lovers. Dandelions are great in salads, soaps, and for the bees, they are absolutely a necessity. And many people use thistle and burdock roots, and nettle makes a nutritious tea. The uses for weeds is endless, but in the garden, they don’t need to take over.
Without weed control, weeds will starve vegetables for sunlight and will take the water and nutrients needed elsewhere for their own use.
After the treacherous weeds have staked a claim in the garden, what can be done?
First off, there are a few things that need to be done and understood BEFORE the gardening year begins to help with weed control from the start.
• Implement the no-till gardening method.
This is a key factor in weed control. Tilling stirs up the soil and brings to the surface weed seeds buried deep down. There are many other detriments to tilling as well, so take a moment and read the article provided above before leaving.
• Companion plant.
When planting, make the most of companion planting and keep the spacing between plants as close as possible. The green tint and shade from the leaves tell weeds seeds, “don’t germinate, this space is taken.”
• Utilize cover crops.
This technique has many benefits as well, including weed suppression.
Know when to water and if possible, don’t water the weeds. This can be accomplished by using a drip tape or soaker hose.
And finally, mulch until mulch can’t be mulched another inch! Read more below.
That all seems fairly easy, right? It will be such a relief when the weeds are under control and it’s not a battle for all vegetables to survive.
Here are 5 best steps to take for weed control when the garden is full of weeds:
Just a little bit. I understand. It’s overwhelming. Sit down, lay your head on your knees and take a deep breath. You can do this.
• Gather mulch, find a pair of scissors and put on the garden gloves.
The mulch is the key ingredient to all weed problems! There are a handful of different choices to choose from, so do the research and stock up on the available mulch in the area or what suits the soil best. Read more about mulching choices here. And don’t put on the gloves if a dirt manicure under the fingernails isn’t a big deal. 😉
• Carefully weed around the vegetables.
Finding and locating the rows and individual vegetables will make it easier when the mulch is laid down. And it is always easier to pull weeds when they are at their smallest, so hopefully, that’s the case, but if not…
• Use the scissors.
The scissors or pruning loppers can be used for the weeds that have really taken off and are quite large. The weeds can be pulled but leaving the roots in the ground adds organic material to the soil and will help break up compacted soil. But also, it’s best to cut off the tops before they go to seed and spread even more. When deciding to pull or cut off a weed, make the decision for what’s best in the current situation.
And truly, don’t be stingy. The ground we stand on is modest and deeply desires for its top soil to be covered. This will be the key to a weed free gardening year. Watch a detailed mulching video here.
The benefits of mulching are something that really shouldn’t be missed. It keeps the soil cool in the heat of summer. Underneath, the ground will stay moist from the protection of the hot sun and dry wind. And for the sake of the concerns right now, it will keep those pesky weeds under control.
And it’s never too late to take back control.
Read more about this subject here: