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how to stop weeds growing in veg garden

How to stop weeds growing in veg garden

Tilling your soil is like planting a garden full of weeds. With every turn of the blades, weed seeds are finding a home underneath the soil. All to become the next wave of weeds you need to deal with.

Our test gardens here at Old World Garden farms are a testament to that fact. Many visitors to the farm are surprised we spend an extremely small portion of our time keeping the 40 x 60 vegetable garden weed free. As in less than 5 minutes a day in the summer!

#1 – Stop Tilling And Digging In The Spring

We use a combination of mulches in our garden space to keep it covered and weed free. It starts with a heavy 4 to 6″ layer of hardwood bark mulch in our walking rows. In our growing rows, we use a 3 to 4″ layer of straw, clippings or shredded leaves in our growing rows.

But they also wreak havoc in a multitude of other ways too. Like harboring pests and disease that lie in wait to attack your plants. And let the weeds go to seed, and the vicious cycle only multiplies.

Listen in to our latest podcast on eliminating weeds!

That leads to our fourth and final point – covering those growing rows in the fall with a cover crop!

How to stop weeds growing in veg garden

Cultural controls are safe and effective methods of weed control. These may include synthetic or organic mulches, weeding, or hoeing and cover crops. Cover crops fill in the proposed vegetable garden to prevent weeds from getting a hold and also add nutrients to the soil when they are tilled in spring.

Weeds not only compete for water, nutrients, and growing space but also provide a haven and hiding place for disease and pests. Vegetable weeds controlled early in the season can help prevent these issues and slow the spread of the nuisance plants.

Controlling Weeds in a Vegetable Garden

Another option is to lay a plastic or thick layer of organic mulch between the rows of vegetables. This will prevent weed seed from taking hold. Another option is a pre-emergent spray to keep weeds out of a vegetable garden, such as Trifluralin. It will not control existing weeds but can be used before planting to prevent new ones from emerging.

Controlling weeds in a vegetable garden is important to the health of your plants. Weeds are huge competitors for resources and can crown out seedlings. Their tenacious nature and ability to seed fast makes it quite a chore to stop weeds in a vegetable garden. Herbicides are an obvious solution, but you need to be careful what you use around edibles. Manual control is effective but is a labor intensive method to keep weeds out of a vegetable garden. A combination of approaches and good initial site preparation are key to vegetable weed control.

Considerations in Weed Control

It is also wise to check the label of an herbicide to see if it is safe to use around a particular vegetable. For instance, Trifluran cannot be used around cucumbers, garlic, lettuce, onions, squashes, or melons. Removing weeds from the vegetable garden also requires care in chemical application.

How to stop weeds growing in veg garden

Thanks for all the wonderful tips!! I always say I can’t grow anything. My husband had a garden last year but it really didn’t get all the work it needed. Hopefully with using some of your tips we can do better this year.

Note: Just be careful that things are watered well or you have a hose nearby, so you don’t set your whole backyard on fire.

Yeah! At least you have good soil. Here in south Florida, none of our soil is any good by itself. It takes years to get it really good. But then that’s gardening… a little at a time. I tried to go to your site and It told me it’s not there. Is it just down for now? I’d love to check it out.

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Two extra reasons for using cardboard, the activity of garden critters (the good kind) love to live under cardboard. Beneficials such as earthworms and fungi will love you. Also, the use of cardboard as mulch is permitted by NOP (National Organic Program Standards) Bonus!

I have been working hard on my garden and don’t want a bunch of weeds- your guide is super helpful and I can’t wait to try some of these out! I have used vinegar before, but was worried about how to keep the spray off of other plants- LOVE the cone idea! I have linked to your page on my website’s favorite five this week

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No More Weeds – Naturally.

The Red Dragon Weeder is available through the link on that post. Just click on it and it should take you to the sales page.

If you’re a new gardener—or you’re working in a new or neglected space—the first season will be the toughest. Start small and stick with it. I assure you the time you put in now will be time well spent.