How To Keep Weeds Out of My Garden
Avoid spending all of your gardening time pulling weeds. Knowing how to keep weeds from growing in your garden will help you devote your time to growing your beautiful flowers, vegetables, and fruits.
gardeninginfo-online.com gathered information on why weeds grow and the measures you can take to eliminate them in your garden and prevent new ones from taking root.
Why Do Weeds Grow?
Weeds will grow when there is space for them to do so. A thickly planted garden reduces available space for any weeds to grow in. Any bare or thin garden space at the end of the growing season should be tilled and seeded with a cover crop to protect it in early fall (September).
Note: Weeds can be significant agents of soil conservation. Weed roots can quickly stabilize erodible soil and create air and water channels in the soil. Some more robust weed roots penetrate so deeply that they reach nutrients otherwise unavailable to garden plants.
The first order of business for any garden type is to pull any pesky weeds already growing. It is crucial to get them out of your garden before they go to seed. Here’s how to do it:
- Start by breaking up the soil where the stem meets the top of the garden bed
- Grip the bottom of the weed and pull firmly straight up to remove it by the roots
Note: Pulling weeds before planting provides your plants the room to lay and grow a strong and healthy root system. Weeding before mulching allows for better soil quality that will aid in keeping your garden healthy. Mulching also helps prevent weeds from emerging.
Tip: Use a three-tine cultivator to loosen the soil and free the weed’s roots. If you can’t get the roots, taking off the head will be your best option to prevent the weed from seeding.
How Does Mulch Prevent Weeds?
Mulching your garden prevents weeds in different ways. New weed seeds need dirt to grow, and a thick layer of mulch helps keep the seeds from reaching the soil. As for the seeds or roots already in the soil, mulch blocks sunlight (one of a weed’s essential necessities). Other benefits include:
- Mulch instantly adds rich color and a manicured appearance to your landscape’s garden beds, along the foundation of your home, and around trees and shrubs (increasing curb appeal)
- Improves your garden soil
- Protects against severe or unexpected temperature changes
- Conserves and protects the soil’s moisture
Tip: Mulch reduces the amount of evaporating water from your soil, significantly reducing your need to water your garden plants.
Chemical Weed Control
Most herbicides present significant health risks to humans, pets, and wildlife when such chemical substances are inhaled or ingested. It is highly recommended to exhaust all other weed control methods before investing in chemical treatments. Other methods include:
Tip: Vinegar kills weeds permanently and is a good alternative to synthetic chemicals. Distilled, white, and malt vinegar are all efficient in stopping weed growth.
Preventive Weed Control
Preventive weed control refers to any control method aiming to keep weeds from establishing in a cultivated crop, a garden bed, or a greenhouse. Some examples of preventative weed control would be:
- Using certified weed-free seed
- Only transporting soil, wood chips, hay, or mulch that is weed free
- Making sure gardening equipment is cleaned before moving from one location to another
- Filtering irrigation water (prevents weed seeds from traveling in the water)
Mechanical Weed Control
Mechanical weed control refers to any technique involving the use of garden equipment to control weeds. The most frequently used is tillage.
Naturally Occurring Weeds
Weeds are considered opportunistic plants and will grow when soil, water, temperature, and sunlight conditions are favorable. Weeds can grow in the smallest cracks in roads, sidewalks, or driveways. Weed seeds can lie dormant in the soil for years, waiting for optimal conditions, and can grow anywhere there’s room.
Garden Weed Removal
In this article, you discovered essential information about why weeds grow in your garden, what you can do to remove or kill them, and how to keep new ones from growing.
Knowing how to get weeds out of your garden and preventing their growth will help you grow stronger plants with more beautiful flowers and cultivate healthier fruits and vegetables through the growing season.
Ignoring the need to eliminate weeds in your garden can leave you in the embarrassing predicament of having a garden full of weeds and not the plants you wanted.