11 Weeding Tips Every Gardener Should Know
Weeding is part of basic garden maintenance. If you own and keep a garden you probably know how much work is needed to keep your garden weed-free. Weeding may seem like a tedious, boring job but it is an essential task that can be fun if you have the right mindset and the right tools.
11 Weeding Tips Every Gardener Should Know
Read on to know how you can enjoy weeding while being efficient at it so you can keep your flower or vegetable garden weed-free.
Arm yourself with the right tools
Weeding is not all about pulling out plants that don’t belong. It is the process of removing unwanted and often resistant plants from your garden so they don’t interfere with the normal growth and propagation of the plants in your garden. Weeding works properly if you have the right tools so you can remove weeds the way they should be taken out from the soil.
With the right tools, you can make sure that you are not spreading weed seeds all over your garden. Start with the basics, like a cultivator or a Japanese knife which is useful for loosening the soil and removing plants by the roots. A shovel or a spading fork is also essential especially if you have resistant weeds in your yard.
Know your weeds
It is important to know what plants you can leave alone and what weeds to remove. Know if you have plants that are dangerous to touch or dangerous when eaten by pets so you can prioritize these for removal.
Knowing your weeds is also important so you can prepare the right kind of protective equipment. You may have poisonous or toxic weed varieties that will require you to wear gloves or goggles.
Target the root
One reason why having the right tools is important is that weeding is serious business. To make sure that weeds do not grow back you need to remove weeds from the roots.
Leaving the roots in the soil means that you are leaving the roots to continue sapping water and nutrients from the soil. Remove the roots are gently as you can by digging around the soil along the sides of the plant, digging under the roots.
You will know that you can safely pull the plant out when it starts to become loose and you feel the plant start to come up from soil without any resistance.
Off with their heads!
Don’t have the time to sit down and weed-like you mean it? You can do the next best thing by cutting off their heads especially if seed season is just around the corner.
Cutting the tops of weeds prevents reseeding. This also stunts their growth and prevents them from spreading.
Have a system
A weed-free garden doesn’t happen overnight. You need to assess your yard to see what kind of work you are looking at and to know what kind of preparation you must do.
Commit to at least 15 minutes a day of serious focused work if you want to clear your garden of weeds especially if you want to meet a deadline. Set a time, grab your tools, and choose a section of the garden that you want to work on. Slow and steady is a suitable motto for weeding but you will find that consistency can get you the garden you want in no time.
Pick the right time
Is there an optimum time for weeding? Turns out, there is, especially if you are unfortunate enough to be working with bad, hard soil.
The best time to weed is right after it rains when the ground is loose and moist. The alternative would be to give your garden a light spray before you get down to do some serious work.
The best time to take weeding seriously is when you are just starting out with the landscaping. Before all the major elements of your garden are laid out, make sure your garden is free of all weed seeds and shoots that could wreak havoc in your garden a few weeks or months down the road.
If you are looking for a low-maintenance garden system that will require minimal weeding in the future, it is important to build the foundation of this system early on.
Avoid blanket watering
One way to ensure that you are not inadvertently supporting weed growth in your yard is to make sure you are only watering the right plants. Use drip soakers around your plants so they can irrigate individual plants leaving surrounding weeds to die off.
Use mulch and fresh compost
Adding mulch or fresh compost allows you to keep your plants healthy and well-fed while depriving weeds of light. Mulch also contains insects like beetles and crickets that like to snack on weeds. Spread mulch about 2 inches deep around your plants to cut off their access to light.
Dispose Of Weeds Properly
Proper disposal is important to make sure that you are not just moving weeds from one corner of the yard to another. While most weeds can be added to your compost pile without any problems, check if you have uprooted weeks that have gone to seed. These are likely to spread the seeds and germinate where they are placed.
So either throw them in a place far from your gardens like a common ditch or compost pile or dispose them through your neighborhood yard waste pickup.
If you want to make sure that you are destroying weeds for good, another option would be to torch them especially if there are root systems that have spread wide and are hard to get to. However, make sure that you don’t have weeds like poison ivy that could create dangerous smoke particles when torched.
Maintain, maintain, maintain!
Weeding a garden is not a one-time thing. Even if you succeed in creating a garden system that is very low-maintenance, you should expect to invest in regular upkeep, including weeding to ensure the natural balance of the flora and fauna in your garden.
Weeding is a natural part of maintaining a garden. Know your weeds, use the right tools, and have a system so you can weed efficiently and effectively. You’ll be on your way to creating the garden of your dreams in no time.