How much time do you think you spend weeding your garden? It is not an exaggeration to say that sometimes it feels like more weeding goes on than actual planting, is it? While it can be rather satisfying to get rid of weeds – getting in touch with that primal need to rip heads off things and tear things from the ground without a care in the world. As the days roll by though, it becomes more frustrating than satisfying. Why won’t weeds just stay down when you tell them to?
If you find yourself in this kind of situation, this is the post for you. We are going to highlight the 5 essentials to stopping weeds in their tracks. These tips will hopefully help you to have mastery over those pesky weeds.
Don’t Worry Too Much About Weed Seeds
What we mean here is, by all means, get rid of the weeds down to their very roots, but leave any dormant weed seeds and soil, untouched. You see, there is not really a square inch of your garden that doesn’t have weed seeds in. However, the only ones that ever get enough light to germinate are those in the top couple of inches of soil.
So rather than attempting to dig at it all, remove those at the top and then salve the spot using mulch or plants. You can minimise disturbing the soil in your lawn, to avoid starting the process for other weeds, by using a very sharp and narrow knife to slice at the roots of weeds, so that you can stop them from getting the food they need without having to completely dig them out.
Mulch Until You Can’t Mulch Anymore
It doesn’t matter which method you use, don’t let weeds have any chance of getting that much needed sunlight. So, use pine needles, straw, bark nuggets or wood chips and keep on mulching until you can’t mulch anymore, to smother those weeds completely.
Aside from getting rid of weeds by depriving them of the light they need, mulching is also great for the plants you want to keep as it ensures the soil is moist and cool. Opt for organic mulch, where possible, because these tend to have carabid beetles and crickets that will eat away at hundreds and hundreds of weed seeds.
You also need to diligently replenish the mulch, as chunkier bits allow some sunlight to get through to the soil and seeds; also, it may be that you discover later rather than sooner that the mulch you laid has some weed seeds too. Ideally, there should always be a layer of mulch at least 2 inches deep.
Weed Them Young
Younger weeds tend to be a lot easier to deal with than older, taller and more established ones. Therefore, it is best to make good use of great conditions for weeding. If it has rained for instance, now’s the time to get the gloves on, lay a pad on the ground and get some container to collect the dead in.
When it is dryer, just slice the weeds a little beneath the soil surface and they will quickly shrivel up and expire.
Off With Their Heads
Not only does it fee great, like you are in a zombie film or something, to chop the heads off weeds, but it also brings long and short term benefits.
If you are unable to remove weeds completely, you should at least take off their heads. Dead-heading will buy you some time. When you cut off the tops of perennials, such as bindweed for example, you decrease the chance of them reseeding and force them to use all of their reserved food and root buds to do so, reducing their spread.
Invest In Sprayer
It may be that weeding alone isn’t shifting some of those harder to stay on top of plants. This is when you may have to bring in the big guns and use a weed killer of some kind. When it comes to application of weed killers, if you are looking for precision and to cover a wider area quicker; you need to consider investing in a backpack sprayer. These are helpful and you can check out the best backpack sprayer models online, but it is also a good idea to go and find them in a bricks and mortar store so you can check how heavy or light they will be on your back.