Using organic weed control

ORGANIC WEED CONTROL

Weeds are the bane of every gardener’s existence. Is it too much to ask for a weed-free, colorful, and tidy garden? If you ask a weed, it would say, “Well, yes.” But we say a resounding “No!” While it does take time and persistence, organic weed control is within your reach, and we’ve rounded up our best tips for getting  (and keeping) them out. So watch out, nutgrass, dandelions, and crabgrass — we’ve got our eyes on you!

  • Perform a weekly garden patrol. Nothing beats a regular walk-through in your garden to stay on top of potential problems. Aim for a weekly garden patrol to identify weed issues to avoid things getting out of hand. Once weeds have taken over, it’s much more costly and backbreaking to get them out.
  • Install edging. Installing a border between your grass and the garden is a great way to keep out grass and any weeds that may accompany it. Steel/metal, mortared stone, or a simple deep trench edging are all effective in stopping potential encroaching weeds.
  • A thick layer of mulch is a gardener’s best friend. While it also maintains soil moisture, mulch goes a long way to suppress weeds and keep them at bay. I like to add 2-4” of mulch in my gardens, making sure to avoid heaping it up on the base of the plant. Use native hardwood shredded mulch, pine needles, or any other mulch recommended for your area.
  • Got a large area that needs to be weed-free? Consider solarizing. While it takes time and is not the most attractive option, it works. Clear the area as much as you can (string-trimming works well), moisten thoroughly, then spread clear plastic over the entire area. Secure edges with heavy rocks, and let the sun bake those weeds away. Tip: Solarizing is best for broad weedy areas with no valuable plants, as this method will kill anything underneath the plastic.
  • Hand-pull or use a tool. The time-honored practice of hand-pulling weeds or using a tool like a hoe or hand-held weeder is a great way to remove a few errant weeds around your prized roses.
  • Use an organic weed killer. It’s never recommended to use a chemical weed killer, but remember, even organic ones can kill anything it comes into contact with. Use boiling water on select weeds, or choose an organic product that contains 20% horticultural vinegar.
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