Does it seem like you just weeded your garden, but now the weeds are overtaking your yard? Do you feel like you’re always losing your never-ending battle to keep your yard weed-free?
You are definitely not alone. Many gardeners find staying on top of the weeds to be one of the most challenging parts of gardening.
Keeping your yard free of weeds can take some planning and yes, a good bit of work. But by following these insider tips, you can win the war on weeds:
Design Your Garden to Discourage Weeds
One way to help minimize both the weeds and the time spent weeding is to design your garden in a manner that discourages weeds.
Cassy Aoyagi, president of FormLA Landscaping, recommends putting wood chips, straw and gravel in the garden. She says that rock and tumbled glass will do the job. This makes it much harder for weeds to grow and and spread.
Get Rid of Weeds Before Planting
Genevieve Schmidt, landscaper and blogger on Northcoastgardening, suggests smothering weeds if you want to plant in an area that is already overgrown in weeds. “You use a layer of cardboard, put 3-6″ of compost on top, and let it break down. By the time the cardboard has decomposed, you’re safe to plant. This is a great way of getting rid of lawn or weeds in garden beds,” she said.
Use Non-Toxic Methods
Annette Pelliccio, founder of the Happy Gardener, which has a division in Canada, says spraying white vinegar directly onto the weeds burns the leaves and stems. “It destroys them down to the root system without harming beneficial microorganisms living in the soil,” she says.
Another method that she recommends to burn the roots is pouring boiling water on the weeds, but cautions that this also can be harmful to insects and worms in the soil.
Many gardeners prefer the hands-on approach of simply pulling up the weeds by hand once the garden is planted. Be sure to get the entire root of the plant or the weed will continue to spread.
However, if you wait until your garden is overrun then weeding will take much longer and the weeds will be harder to pull because their root system will be more established. The trick is to pull the weeds when they are small and to weed often. Many gardeners find that by weeding twice a week and setting a specific day for the task, it takes less time and their garden looks consistently better.
The most important part of winning the war on weeds is to be consistent and proactive. With some effort and elbow grease, you will have a beautiful and (mostly) weed free garden or yard.
By Jennifer Gregory