If there is one thing that gardeners wish for more than anything else, it is finding a way to stop garden weeds from taking over their garden once it has been planted.
Plain and simple, weeding is never a fun chore! And for many, it seems like a never ending process that gets harder with each passing week.
So hard, that by mid to late summer, many gardeners finally throw in the towel and give up.
But believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, with just a few simple tips and tricks, you really can stop garden weeds in their tracks.
And in the process, not only have a beautiful weed-free garden, but a great harvest too!
Here is a look at 3 simple secrets that have worked wonders in our garden for years, and can help keep your garden weed free this growing season.
3 Simple Ways To Stop Garden Weeds After Planting
#1 Mulch – The First Line Of Defense
Quite simply, bare soil in the garden is an open invitation for weeds to have a party in your garden.
Weed seeds are constantly being blown into the garden. And if that isn’t enough, they are also being brought in and deposited by birds, animals and insects too.
But those weed seeds can only become weeds if they germinate. And, they need to find a way to the soil surface in order to do that.
That is where mulch performs its magic. A good application of mulch can keep weed seeds from becoming next week’s weeding chores. And who doesn’t want to eliminate that weekly task!
What works best? We use a 6 to 8″ covering of straw around all of our growing rows to protect plants.
The thick covering not only eliminates nearly all of our weeds and weeding chores, but it also help to regulate the soil temperature and moisture level for our plants as well.
If you can’t use straw, shredded leaves, grass clippings, or even landscape fabric are great options too. But whatever you do, cover that soil as a first line of defense to help stop garden weeds
And what about those rows in between your planted garden? Mulch those heavy too!
We use a heavy 6″ coating of bark chips between all of our growing rows to eliminate weeds. See : The Simplicity Raised Row Gardening
You will be amazed at how much mulching can stop garden weeds from ever becoming a problem.
#2 Stop Disturbing The Soil To Stop Garden Weeds
And speaking of those dreaded weeding chores, here is a crazy but true fact – you might actually be causing more weeds by working too hard!
Tilling, hoeing and digging out all of those weeds each week actually causes your garden to have more weeds, not less.
Every time you turn the soil over, you are helping to plant the next generation of weeds.
All of the seeds that been carried or blown into your garden are useless on the surface.
But as you till between the rows, and hoe and dig, you help “plant” those seeds to become next week’s weeds. See : Why Not To Use A Rototiller
It becomes a vicious cycle that only gets worse with each passing week. And it’s why mulching is way better than tilling!
#3 Don’t Disturb That Mulch Either!
Just like you shouldn’t disturb the soil by tilling or hoeing, that mulch layer needs to stay in place too.
Turning, raking, or disturbing the mulch layer is another great way to let all of those weed seeds laying on the surface find a home in the soil below.
Although it helps stop garden weeds, this tip is huge for flowerbeds as well!
Many folks like to turn or flip their mulch over every few weeks in their flowerbeds to keep it “fresh”.
Unfortunately, when that happens, guess what? All of those weed seeds that have been laying dormant on top of the mulch are now in the soil below.
Resist the temptation to flip your mulch in the garden and your flowerbeds. Instead, simply add a light coating on top if needed to freshen up or thicken up the protective layer.
You might just be amazed at how actually working less can help stop garden weeds more than working too hard.
Here’s to less weeding, and more fun in the garden! Happy Gardening, Jim and Mary.
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