5 Organic Strategies to Help Control Weeds
As a child, my mother would give me a brown paper grocery bag and have me fill it up to the top with weeds. It was part of our chores, and I remember feeling the tediousness of the effort back then.
As an adult, not much has changed. When it comes to weeding, we all know that if you have a garden or yard of any kind, that weeds are a natural part of the process. You might even find yourself spending way more time then you ever thought imaginable dealing with weeds.
While there are a lot of chemically based options out there to snuff out weeds, that might not be the road you want to take. Chemicals can be harmful to you and your family and even some of your plants. If you are looking for a natural way to deal with weeds, here are 5 organic ways to control weeds.
How to Control Weeds Organically
The most natural advice to give to weed control is preventing them from ever having the chance to grow. The best way to do that is to keep seeds from getting a chance to see the light.
There are many organic and natural ways to do this. Mulching the area will be a great option. You can use wood chips, bark nuggets, straw, or pine needles. Depending on the area you are hoping to prevent weeds, you could use old newspaper, cardboard, or a biodegradable fabric.
In my own vegetable garden, we used a layer of cardboard boxes and straw that we had on hand because the look of it garden didn’t matter. It was hidden on the side of our home.
For our flower beds, we choose to use a wood chip mulch. You can choose even to do both. You can place cardboard, newspaper, or even a biodegradable fabric down as the first layer, and then place the nice looking mulch over the top.
The benefit of mulching the soil is that it keeps the soil cool and moist while also preventing light from getting to the seeds. When placing your mulch down, you will want to make sure that the mulch is at least 2 inches deep and not deeper than three inches.
If the mulch gets too thick you can deprive the soil of oxygen. Organic mulches are a great choice too. They are home to different insect and bugs like crickets and carabid beetles which love to eat and feast on a ton of weed seeds.
Grab the Weed’s Root
When you go weeding, the key aspect will be to kill weeds at their roots, without disturbing the soil. You will want to keep the soil undisturbed as much as possible by keeping the soil in tack. The reason for this is that every part of your garden and yard are filled with weed seeds. It is only the seeds at the top inch or two that will get enough light to trigger germination.
According to Fine Garden, you can “assume weed seeds are there ready to erupt, like ants from an upset ant hill, every time you open a patch of ground.”
Choosing to use a gardening tool to help you with this task is a good idea. You may also use a sharp knife with a narrow blade to slice through roots.
Weed with Good Conditions
The best time to weed is when the soil is wet. This means that it’s a great idea to weed after a good rain. The reason for this is that you want to pull out a weeds entire root system.
When you do this, you make every effort to keep those weeds from growing back. Using a tool to help pull those out is helpful. A small tool, like a simple kitchen fork, will allow you get deep into the roots will work fine.
If you are new to gardening take heart that the first year of weeding is always the hardest. There is a lot of clean up to do. The effort you are putting into your garden will impact years to come.
Fine Gardening’s advice for new gardeners is to “Commit (and stick) to a weeding schedule, and don’t take on more space than you can manage. If you have more weeds than you can handle, keep weedy areas mowed until you’re ready to conquer them.”
While we are not new gardeners, my family has recently moved to a new home in our town. It was disheartening at first as we knew that the work our yard needed this year was extreme. We know, however, that the work we are putting into our yard this year to keep back our weeds will make a huge difference in the years to come.
Water Plants Not Weeds
There are two ways that plants and weeds will thrive – with sunlight and water. When you take out water you help to dry them out.
One way that you can do that is control how you water your plants. There are a few options for you to do this. Water the plants you want to thrive by hand is one way, but it can be a tedious process.
You can place them in locations around each tree or plant to make sure you have a thriving plant. The way they work is by creating a “well” that works like a straw. The Rootwell or the Root Stick can be installed into the ground and then filled with water. The devices allow for the water to reach the plant directly at the root zone.
This specific type of watering is not only effective and will help your plants thrive, it will also keep those weeds growing due to the specific location of the Root Stick.
Rootwell Products, Inc. products are scientifically proven to promote deep root growth that allows for long term healthy growth for your plants. It is a permanent solution for any soil type including: clay, compact, or fertile soil that will product lifelong healthy plants and trees. When you water plants directly at the source, you help to cut off weeds from unnecessary watering.
When it comes to gardening and maintaining your beautiful yard, weeding is just going to come along with the job. For those that want to avoid adding chemically based ways to weed killers, it is hopeful to know there are some natural options. With some effort and persistence and following these 5 organic tips you will be able to tackle those pesky weeds.