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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Controlling Weeds in the Garden

...cursed is the ground for thy sake...thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee...
Genesis 3:17-18

Weeding the garden is a necessary but ongoing chore. Like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, just when you finish it is time to start over again. There are several tricks
to making weeding easier.
One trick is to plant things close enough to cover the space. Weeds need sun to grow, and if they are prevented from getting sunlight they will not thrive. Remember that healthy plants need breathing room, so don't plant things too close together.
Tools are a good way to make sure you get the root of the weed. Pulling the top of the weed and leaving the root ensures that you will be seeing that same weed in a few days.

Make sure when you weed that the ground is wet but not muddy. There is nothing more difficult than pulling weeds out of dry soil.

Use one of the many products available to keep the weeds from sprouting up to begin with. Lay down gardening fabric, cutting an "X" for your plant. Garden fabric keeps weeds from growing while keeping the soil moister and warmer.

In time, your plants will cover and hide the garden fabric.

You can use other things as ground cover. Newspaper is great for this purposed, but don't use ads. They are made of a different kind of paper, have too much colored ink, and don't decompose like regular newspaper.

Grass clippings make good, free mulch. Don't use grass that has recently been treated with weed killer. Don't cover the plant. Some plants such as squash and melons will suffer from stem rot if covered with mulch. In the fall add dead leaves, saw dust, or straw in equal parts, and mix into soil. Grass alone leaves the soil with too much nitrogen. Equal parts "green" and "brown" materials make a better mix. By next spring, you will have a nice, composted soil.

A produce like Roundup is perfect for some spots, such as the cracks of your cement.

A garden that is weeded on a regular basis has fewer and fewer weeds as time goes on. Without old weeds to germinate new weeds, the number of weeds decreases. Spend some serious weeding time early in the summer, and you will have less to do as the season goes on.

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