Weeds – those opportunistic, unwelcome plants that can effortlessly outcompete your edibles and ornamentals.
In the midst of the garden, two dandelions grow where they are not supposed to be. The weeds have had time to become established in the soil and can compete with the growing vegetables.Save
If only there were an easy way to keep them at bay!
Well, unfortunately, there isn’t. They are really good at what they do.
But there are some things you can do to make the job of weeding a lot less cumbersome and time-consuming.
Are you with me? Let’s take a look!
UNDERSTAND THEIR ROLE
Right off the bat, if you understand how weeds work, you’ll be better prepared to prevent them.
They are actually a specific type of plant with a certain pattern of behavior.
They also produce abundant seeds, which can stay dormant for a very long time. They spread rapidly. And they inhabit disturbed sites, like our gardens.
Ultimately, in nature, these pioneer species have a really important ecological role. They quickly cover disturbed soil and protect the area from erosion, and even sustain soil life.
Not so much in our gardens, however. But knowing that the opportunists favor the disturbed sites should give you some insight.
Seeds are just waiting to be brought to the surface where they can germinate. So minimizing soil disturbance is the first step to battling fewer weeds.
WAIT UNTIL THE TIME IS RIGHT
Have you ever tried to weed on a dry, hot summer day? It’s miserable. The ground, especially if you have clay soil, is all but cement.
If you have no choice but to take on this cumbersome task when it’s hot and dry, here are my suggestions:
Use a hoe to cut seedlings off at the base. If they are small, chances are, severing them will kill them.
A double-sided garden tool with with a hoe on one side and a hand tiller on the other is sticking slightly into the ground at the base of a small weed preparing to remove it. The tool has a wooden handle and the metal is painted black and looks new. There are many other small plants around in the garden.Save
For the big ones, do yourself a favor and cut them back to the ground.
Cutting them back is still really beneficial, especially if you aren’t going to have a chance to get out in the garden again soon. This way you’ll keep the plant from going to flower and seed, at least for a time, which is huge.
Ultimately, the best time to pull those unwanted plants is after a good soaking rain. They all but climb out of the ground on their own! (If only…)
Still, it’s much easier work when the soil is wet. Trust me.