Weeds. We all have a fear of seeing our beautiful gardens, our labour of love become infested with unwanted, unattractive weeds. Not only are they greedy, nutrient-gluttons, their roots are also invasive and can transfer harmful diseases to your plants.
Our battle with weeds has been ongoing since the very first days of agriculture, and the science behind deterring and eradicating them is certainly warranted. Countless significant harvests, recorded in history, have been decimated by weeds, and our beautiful local gardens are no exception. Though most of us don’t depend on such monumental harvests to sustain ourselves, the presence of weeds is still an unsightly blemish in our gardens.
As fellow green thumbs, we’re always on the lookout for the best ways to deal with weeds. We sympathize with the gardeners who come to our store with that look in their eye – the gardener fighting the good fight against weeds. It’s for you, troubled gardener, that we’ve written these five tips for fending off weeds or eliminating them for good. All without the use of harmful herbicides!
Mulch is aesthetically pleasing in any garden, and a great way to suppress weed growth. The mulch keeps the soil beneath it moist and prevents weeds from getting the sunlight they need to grow. About 2 inches of mulch on top of laid out newspaper can stunt weed growth drastically, and the paper will naturally decompose and feed your soil. We’re huge fans of the old win win.
2 .Plant spacing
Although we referenced plant spacing in one of our recent Inspiration Garden posts, spacing your plants at an optimal distance from one another is incredibly important. Too close, and weeds won’t get any sunlight to grow, but your plants run the risk of spreading disease to their neighbours. Too far, and the excess water and nutrients in the unused soil will be put to work feeding your unwanted plant invaders. Give careful consideration to big leafed plants like Hostas or our Kong Mosaic Coleus and how you can use them to prevent the sun from ever reaching those weeds-to-be.
3. Wet weeds
Here's the cold hard truth: when you’re working against weeds you’re going to need to get down and dirty. The good news is that things aren’t all doom and gloom. Use the weather to your advantage, and do your weeding after a heavy rainfall! The water will make it easier to slip those stubborn weeds out of the ground without tearing the roots and sending you back for round two. A couple quick tips: Bring a fork to skewer and dislodge pesky leftover roots, and make sure to wear some comfy knee pads and a pair of waterproof gloves!
4. Don’t dig where you don’t need to
Whether we like it or not, weed seeds are everywhere in our soil. However, only the seeds near the top inch of soil have the ability to germinate. Be very particular about where you dig and don’t dig any deeper than you need to, as you have the potential to give life to otherwise dormant weeds.
5. When you can’t kill it, delay it
Some persistent perennials (such as dandelions) can be difficult to get rid of once they mature. Chopping off the heads of weeds can make them use up extra energy to regrow and ultimately limit their spreading ability. Deadheading annual weeds, at the very least, can give you valuable time to prepare for the weed season. Consider calling on tools like the Felco pruners, which deliver the precise cuts needed for weeding while still being extremely comfortable in-hand.
Keeping your garden properly fed and fertilized is always helpful in warding off weeds. A constant eye on the state of your plants is necessary in finding and pulling weeds before they have matured and grown their tap roots. Hopefully, hard work in combination with our tips will help you keep your garden happy, healthy and weed-free.