Most weeds are easy to eradicate if spotted early enough and can be controlled without the use of chemicals.
On this page
A weed is technically just a plant in the wrong place. It could be an unwanted seedling from another plant, or something more pernicious and invasive that you really want to eradicate. However, while you’ll never be able to completely stop weeds from popping up, there are ways to ensure they have less places to grow.
Bare patches of soil will quickly be colonised by both annual and perennial weeds, so a well-stocked border is less likely to support a thriving population of these pesky plants. If you have gaps in your borders, plug them by planting ground covering plants.
Left unattended, weeds will quickly fill in unplanted areas and any open ground around plants. Mulch spread over the soil surface blocks the sunlight most annual weeds need to take hold. Weeds that do sprout are easy to pull because soil beneath mulch remains loose and moist. Coarse chipped or shredded bark is a good choice for large areas between trees and shrubs because it decomposes slowly and doesn’t easily blow away. For paths, a thick layer of sawdust provides good weed suppression because it depletes nitrogen in the soil.
Think it’s an overstatement to call it the war against weeds? Here’s what you’re up against.
Smother Weeds with Mulch
You can also use landscape fabrics to control weeds under decks and in pathways (spread over the excavated soil base before you add gravel or sand). A 3×50-ft. roll of landscape fabric, such as the Typar shown below, costs about $10. The fabric is also available in 36-in. die-cut circles (about $3 each) for installing at the base of trees.
Yes, you can. Synthetic landscape fabrics provide a physical barrier to weeds yet allow air, water and nutrients through to plant roots. Spread the fabric over bare soil around trees and shrubs; overlap several inches of fabric at the seams. Anchor the material with U-shaped metal pins, then conceal it with 1 to 2 in. of mulch, such as stone or bark chips.
Share this story
As with most types of prevention, discouraging weed seeds from sprouting requires some extra time now so you can save a lot of time later.
Especially if your garden is very large it can be a real chore. Sounds like you could use the info in How to build million dollar garden soil https://www.lifeisjustducky.com/garden-soil/ to help with that clay. Happy gardening!
2) Mulch – Straw, hay, wood chips, grass clippings, leaves, and pine needles. Make sure you put down a nice thick layer. This helps keep away weeds, moderates temperatures, holds in moisture, limits evaporation, and reduces splash on plant leaves keeping them cleaner and reducing fungi. As a bonus mulch naturally composts in place putting humus back into the soil.
Mike Sullivan says
I believe everyone can grow at least part of their own food! Let me show you how.
Using chemicals to get rid of weeds can throw off your whole soil structure. There are a few classes of herbicides that actually poison the soil and will not let wide-leaved plants (like beans and tomatoes) grow in that soil for years if not decades.
Old carpet! Great for weeds and mulch. Fluffy side down. Lets watet thru but doesn’t stay wet. You can walk on it with your slippers while the worms will process goodies right up to it. Even durimg very dry weather. Worms will have processed thr carpet too. Just put a new lot down on top every yeat. Put it under newly planted hedges. Between raised vege beds. On pathways or barren areas.
However, weeds play an important part in nature. First of all, soil is modest. She likes to be covered. Or so says homesteader Justin Rhodes.
What Are Some Ways To Kill Those Pesky Weeds?
An old Chinese proverb says “The best fertilizer is the shadow of the gardener”. How true, we can’t know what is going on if we are not there. Weeding is a good way to visit our plants regularly.
One thing to note. Plants need light to grow, so covering them with any material that blocks out that light will cause them to die.