Weeds are a huge nuisance to many gardeners pro and amateur alike. No one wants to see a dandelion pop up in their beautifully planned garden that they spent so much time on. And sometimes when you spend over an hour plucking the darned things, they show up again and again. It’s a vicious cycle. Fortunately there are some things that can be done to prevent weeds from taking over your garden and some reasonable solutions to dealing with the ones that still get through.
When it comes to weed prevention, your first thought might be to dig and till the soil. Do not do that. Weeds can lie dormant in the soil until they are brought up to the surface through tilling. The sunlight allows the seeds to germinate and, unless they are flower seeds, you don’t want that happening. So try not to disturb the soil too much. One of the best things you can do is smother them with mulch. That will keep the sunlight from reaching the weed seeds while still maintaining your garden. Put down at least two or four inches of mulch to keep weeds from growing. Landscape fabric will achieve the same effect as well.
Another way to prevent weeds from growing is by using herbicides. Obviously there is a lot of contention surrounding the use of chemicals on plants, but there are natural solutions that do the trick. Pre-emergent herbicides will keep weeds from growing without damaging existing plants and grasses. It is best to use such products in the spring and fall, when you are preparing your garden for the summer and putting it to rest for the winter.
Another key detail for prevention is to space your plants closer together. Of course, you don’t want them too close because they need to have room to grow. But doing this will, in a way, smother the weeds that are attempting to grow in your garden. Cut off the amount of sun they receive by planting hedges or lush plants that will cover the ground effectively.
Even if you do all of that to prevent weeds from growing in your garden, there is still a chance they might pop up. Seeds can get carried by the wind, brought in on shoes or dropped by birds. It’s unfortunate but true. The best thing you can do is to catch them when you see them. Pulling out weeds by hand is always effective, though tiring. What you can do to make it easier is to wet the soil before you pull them. That will help you get it all out, including the roots. If that seems like too much work to you, just suffocate them instead. A piece of wood, plastic or garden statue will do the trick.
Sometimes weeds will pop up in driveways or walkways making digging them up impossible. An effective solution to get rid of them is to pour salt or boiling water on them. You can also use borax, but if you do make sure you wear gloves to protect yourself.
Other effective methods for getting rid of weeds include deadheading them so that they can’t spread their seeds. It can also help to identify exactly what weeds you have so that you can combat them properly. Weed your garden on a regular basis to keep it healthy and looking beautiful.
By: Meagan Dieroff