Imagine that you spend hours planting a beautiful rose garden, only to watch with dismay as it’s overrun by weeds a week later. Weeds are a ruthless enemy of many gardeners, and for a good reason, as they can quickly kill off plants and cost hours’ worth of labor time. But with these five tips to stave off weeds, you can win the fight against these troublesome intruders.
Crowd Them Out
Plants need a certain amount of space between their neighbors for optimal growth. Weeds won’t grow if they can’t get sunlight. Therefore, consider getting plants that require minimal spacing. Planting them close together creates a shadow over the open area that they share. This shade prevents weed growth.
Keep Weeds in the Dark
Weeds need access to sunlight to germinate. Digging up your garden bed to plant your new spring flowers can also churn up weed seeds embedded deep in the ground. Only now that the weeds are close to the surface can they start to grow. Therefore, experts recommend only digging precisely where you’re putting your plants to avoid disturbing latent weeds.
Lay Down Organic Mulch
The mulch that you use can affect weed growth in addition to plant growth. Ideally, you should put down about two inches of organic mulch in your garden before planting your flowers. The mulch gives plants the vital nutrients and temperature regulation that they need to grow. It also suffocates weed seeds and makes it harder for young weeds to grow. Be sure to get organic mulch, as non-organic mulch isn’t as healthy for the plants that you want to have growing in your garden.
Use Landscape Bedding
One of the uses of landscaping fabric among gardeners is weed control. Putting down landscaping beds made of porous black fabrics give you a double advantage by promoting plant growth and killing off weeds. Porous beds enable the exchange of nutrients, gas, and water, which are essential for plant growth. However, they block sunlight from getting to weed seeds, which ultimately inhibits their growth.
Behead Pesky Weeds
Sometimes, it’s not possible to remove an entire part of the weed. Or you might have so many that you can’t possibly uproot them all at once. In this case, you can lop off their heads. Dead-heading weeds prevents them from spreading their seeds on the wind or through pollinators. While this doesn’t kill an existing weed, it prevents weeds from germinating and stops future weed growth.
When you consider the amount of time you spend gardening versus weeding, chances are good that time favors the latter. Worse yet, you might be losing the war against these green garden invaders! But by keeping these weeding tips in mind, you can look forward to having time to enjoy the fruits (and flowers) of your labor.
For more great tips and tricks like this, check out our Help in the Garden section! We know you won’t be disappointed!