Weeding is a task that is impossible to get away from. No matter how hard you try and no matter which methods you use, weeds will pop up in your garden. Unless you get to them quickly, they can spread and begin to take over as they take away sunlight, water and nutrients from your actual plants. They can be prevented – somewhat, but even the best methods don’t stop them entirely. In order to get rid of weeds for good, consider following these three tips.
1) Prevent weeds from popping up in your garden. Of course, there are several ways in which weeds can be prevented. These include laying down mulch, and protecting your garden with landscape fabric. The success of these depends largely on the types of vegetables that you’ve planted in your garden. Not all of them can tolerate being surrounded by mulch or fabric without their growth being stunted or nonexistent.
2) Weed removal. There are several different ways to remove weeds, using physical or chemical methods. Before you resort to chemical weed killers, which aren’t good for the environment and may potentially harm your vegetables, you should first attempt to manually remove the weeds. This can be done with your hands or with gardening tools like a hoe or a winged weeder. Which one should you try first? It all depends on your soil, the size of the weed and how deep the roots go.
If your soil is loose in that area, then you may be able to pull out any weeds with your hands. Grip the unwanted plant at the base and pull it straight up and out. Make sure that you have the entire root system as well, or the weeds may spread. If your soil is compacted, then you’ll have to use the weeder, a hoe or a trowel to work the weed loose so that it can be removed. Start at the base of the plant and go in a small circle around it with the garden tool, loosening the soil and the weed itself. Once it’s loose, you can pull it out with your hands. Both of these methods are preferred to using a chemical weed killer.
While a chemical weed killer is designed to target the weeds that pop up between sections of concrete or on your lawn, you should avoid using it on your vegetable garden. It is hard to gauge the right amounts, not to mention the fact that weed killers only work on certain weeds – not all of them. This makes them pretty ineffective.
3) Safety First – Wear gloves when you’re weeding your garden, as some pesky invading plants have sharp spines, prickly bits and other things that will make pulling them out unpleasant. This is particularly important if you have allergies, as some weeds may cause you to break out in hives or an itchy rash. If you’re working with a pointed tool to remove the weeds, you should wear safety goggles as well, in order to protect your eyesight.
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Pic by smysnbrg