Why ways to remove weeds is a must
When I first started gardening, I wasn’t concerned overly much about weeds. I would pick out the big ones when I saw them, but I was not actively attempting to control the weeds growing. I sort of just let my garden do it’s thing and figured it would grow wonderfully all on it’s lonesome. It may have seemed I was a bit wonderfully naive. However, there are multiple ways to remove weeds that all have pros and cons. You can use all of these ways to remove weeds, one or any combination that works for you and your garden to get those suckers out of there.
The reason keeping on top of your weeds is so important for your garden, is because weeds will suck out the nutrients in your soil. Not only that, they will choke off your seedlings by taking over their space. There’s a reason there is a saying ‘grow like weeds’ because they grow so much faster then the vast majority of other plants. Besides raspberry plants. Raspberry plants will take over anything and everything.
The weeds will suck up the water and the wonderful minerals in your soil that your little seedlings need to grow. As well, if you let them get big enough they will throw shade over your other plants, meaning they won’t get enough sunshine to thrive.
So weeding is definitely so much more important then I initially thought, and through my gardening journey, I have come across different ways to handle my weed problems. Every year the amount of weeds seem to be different, so I am constantly trying to adapt and keep up with these crazy little buggers.
Mulch to remove weeds
Let’s talk about mulch. There are a few things you should know about mulch before your start tossing it around your garden, the first being that there are multiple kinds of mulch you can purchase.
I went with cedar, which is red, this year because the black mulch actually caused a few fires in my area last summer. This is because, mulch is shredded wood, which means it dries out, and becomes easily flammable in extreme weather. I decided to skip straight to the red mulch because no way in heck do I need black wood, soaking up even more heat. I water my garden daily with a sprinkler, so I can avoid my mulch drying out and to of course, water my plants. Just something to keep in mind when using mulch.
Now, cedar mulch is actually poisonous to plants. Something about the chemical makeup of the wood? Don’t ask me, I failed chem. I just know that it’s poisonous to plants. Because of this, you want to be very careful where you place it. Don’t just pour it over your rows and call it good, because you don’t want it all over your little seedlings. Or even your full grown plants.
Mulch also helps control the amount of sunlight that peeks through, cutting off a plants supply of food making it even harder for weeds to pop up. I tend to just use mulch as a ring around all my garden bed to stop encroaching grass or other weeds in their tracks. I live on a rural mountain, so I have some pretty hardy wild grass growing around that does not like to take no for an answer. Hence, my mulch barrier.
Walmart usually as a great sale on mulch, if you are looking to go pick some up. I used less then three bags to border my front garden, side garden, back yard garden and mini front garden.
I haven’t yet used weed fabric, but in my research I have found ti to be a great option. It’s just one I haven’t explored yet.
So much like mulch, it limits sunlight, which limits food for weeds. The tough fabric also makes it quite difficult for weeds to poke through, essentially suffocating the little guys. You can use this all over your garden, just cut holes for your plants. Make sure they are large enough for your plants to grow through and maintain a good level of sunlight.
You may still have problems with weeds growing right next to your plants, which you will have to pull manually.
You can also just use blots of the fabric along where you walk or in between rows. Once again though, you will still get weeds popping up right next to your other plants so keep an eye on those little hooligans.
You can pick up this fabric from quite a few places, walmart being one of them. Another one being amazon if you are lazy like I am and don’t like actually having to leave your house to shop. Yay introverts!
Be careful what weed killer your using. If you are growing food you plan on eating, you want to be as organic as possible when spraying anything into your soil or onto/ near your plants so that you don’t accidentally contaminate them.
I use this recipe here http://mindfulmommybear.com/diy-cleaning-solution-works-for-everything/ it’s an organic cleaning solution that wonderfully enough you can make at home for very little but it also kills your weeds. Yay! I love things that are multi purpose.
If you use this method, or any spray method, be sure your targeting your weeds and not accidentally hitting your plants. It would be a little counterproductive to just accidentally kill off everything growing in your garden.
I also suggest spraying them on a hot day that either won’t have any rain, or will at least be dry for over two hours. Sometime in the morning or early afternoon works perfectly but you can essentially do it at any time of day.
Just don’t water your garden for a few hours after, you don’t want to go through all that effort of spraying just to wash it away before it can work it’s magic. A combination of the warmth from the sun, and my weed killing mixture, usually kills off the weeds within a couple hours. Just withers them right up, I don’t have to pick them out after or worry about them growing back.
This is definitely my favorite method, it’s pretty fast and easy. It’s also the cheapest, if your using my weed killing recipe. Just like with the other ways to remove weeds from your garden, you do have to manually pull the weeds growing too close to your plants.
This one is probably the most obvious, the most time consuming but also the most effective. Manually pulling out your weeds. I also count this as a workout, so two in one! Because seriously, weeding can be an arm workout. Weeding with children is a workout in patience, and running to stop them from eating that worm.
However, as arduous as it may seem, I actually thoroughly enjoy weeding my garden. It can be almost meditative, and you can get up close and personal with your plants. This gives you the chance to see if there are any other problems you need to address.
For example, I have an ant problem I’ve been trying to control for SO long. I’ve tried so many different ways to get those little critters to stop destroying my plants. When I finally come across something that works, don’t worry I will definitely be sharing with you guys!
These are my favorite ways to control my weeds, do you have any other suggestions? Tried any of them out? Let me know!
If you are looking for even more tips on ways to remove weeds from your garden, check out this link! https://alifeofheritage.com/farm-living/weed-control/ she has an amazing blog post covering even more!