raised bed gardening

Natural Weed Control for Your Gardens

The Top 4 Natural Weed Control Activities

 

Have you got a handle on weed control in all your gardens? There’s an old gardener’s saying, “One year’s weed equals 7 years of seeds.” If you allow weeds to go to seed, those seeds can be viable for 7 years or more.

Once the right conditions happen, they will germinate. Just bring them to the surface, give them a bit of light and water, and you will have a weed crop that takes nutrients and space from your plants.

Garden weeds can be hard to control once they get out of hand because they grow very rapidly and produce huge quantities of seeds. Some spread very aggressively by runners or underground stolons. Even roots left in the soil can sprout!  They steal the nutrients and water from your desirable plants, and can often crowd them out.

So what are the best natural weed control steps?

There are several methods, but these are the easiest and most effective. They don’t use any dangerous chemicals and herbicides. (There are  common  and harmless household products you can use instead, but with care.)

1. Cultivation.

Several weeks before you plant your garden seeds or bedding plants, cultivate the soil. Often it’s enough just to deeply rake it over. This will bring weed seeds to the surface where they will germinate. Then the weeds then can be removed. Weeds that are allowed to grow not only compete with your plants, but pulling larger weeds can also uproot nearby plants.

Once the garden is growing, use a hoe to keep weeds under control between rows and plants. Remember not to dig deeply around your valuable vegetables, as you don’t want to disturb their roots.

2. Mulching.

There are two types of mulches – organic and inorganic – that can be used to control weeds. Organic mulches like bark chips, grass clippings, straw or shredded newspapers should only be used after the soil is warm, and your plants are growing well.

Black plastic is the most commonly used inorganic mulch, since it keeps out light that weed seeds need to germinate. Place this mulch around plants only if there is sufficient moisture in the soil, since rain or water won’t get through it. It is a very effective weed suppressor, and has the added benefit of warming the soil. However, it is difficult to remove, and does not allow the soil to breathe.

3. Homemade Herbicides

Get a good quality spray bottle and fill it with 2 cups of white vinegar and ½ cup of salt. Mix it well so the salt dissolves as much as possible or the spray bottle might get clogged up. Add a bit of dish soap. Use this remedy near your garden beds very carefully, because it could kill your veggies as well. If the sprayer gets clogged try a 50/50 vinegar and water solution, leaving out the salt.

4. Solarize Them

Solarizing can also wipe out soil borne diseases and many garden pests as well as weeds. This is a method to use when you don’t plan to plant in a bed for a while, since it takes 4 to 6 weeks.

All you will need is some thin, clear plastic that you can find at most garden stores. Start by tilling and raking the soil clear of any debris. Lay the plastic over the bed and anchor the plastic tightly around the bed  with bricks, soil or long heavy boards so it won’t blow away or move around.

Leave the plastic there for 4-6 weeks. When you remove it, till in some fresh compost. You will have a healthy and weed-free garden bed, ready for planting!

Keeping your gardens free of weeds can be a battle, but if you have a plan and consistently use these 4 methods of natural weed control, then you can win the weed war.

Tools For Weeders:

Click her for simple  weeding tools to make your natural weed control easier!

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dental hygienist says

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

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Dennis says

Hi Nicki,
I love your posts. They save a lot of time researching the tasks that I plan in the yard and gardens. Keep the post coming! Great Articles!

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