Have you wondered why it’s so difficult to remove the weeds once they take root in the garden? That’s because unlike the plants you get from nurseries, weeds are indigenous and naturally compatible with the soil, water conditions and the surrounding environment.
The only way to stop weeds from growing in the garden is to stop the weed seeds from germinating. Let’s talk about how you can do that.
Go Easy On the Soil
Did you know that weed seeds are always present in the soil? You may not notice them, as they are dormant for a long time, as long as they don’t receive sunshine. So, make sure that the soil is not disturbed too much, let the weed seeds remain asleep permanently. This means, not using power tillers and not going all out with the hand cultivation, sowing the regular flower and vegetable seeds above the ground, preferably in bags of topsoil or in compost. Your best option is to simply plant the seedlings.
Cover the Soil with Mulches
The best way to smother the weed seeds is to cover the soil with organic or synthetic mulches that block the sun. Examples of organic mulches are newspaper, hardwood mulch, straw or cardboard. Examples of synthetic mulches are plastic and landscaping paper.
Organic mulch can degrade after a few months. Following the degradation, they add nutrients to the soil and improve the soil structure. Synthetic mulches don’t improve the soil when they degrade.
Apply pre-emergent herbicides for preventing the germination of the weed seeds. These chemicals don’t kill the plants or the grasses, while preventing the growth of weeds
The herbicides should be spread before the seeds germinate. The time to do this is when the forsythia wilts and the daffodils pop. Plan this well, and have a good idea of exactly when you’re going to spread the herbicides.
Note the date when you first notice weeds in the garden. The herbicides should be spread 3 weeks before this date the next spring.
Don’t Allow Any Space for the Weeds to Grow
Plant the flowers and vegetables as close to each other as possible. The closer you plan them, the less space there is for the weed seeds to grow.
Use a diamond-shaped pattern, rather than rows, for the planting. Plant intensively and make sure there are no barren spots where the weeds can grow.
Make sure that your grass grows healthy and lush. This is the best way to prevent the weeds from getting any room to grow. If there are any bald patches, reseed and fertilize the areas. Aerate the bald patches in the fall.
Finally… Follow These Tips On Mulching….
- Look for old carpets and wallpapers in a garage sale. These act as very good sun blocks, preventing the weed seeds from getting any sun.
- Make sure that the ground is wet before laying down the paper. This ensures that the paper doesn’t get blown away when you’re working.
- Spread the mulch about four inches deep. This will prevent the seeds from germinating and will retain the moisture at the same time.
- Use straw instead of hay. Hay contains hayseeds, which can sprout so easily.