Once weeds take hold of a garden, they spread fast. And we have gone too far lengths to kill them. Many weed killers contain strong and potentially dangerous chemicals. You may have seen or read news articles about people receiving a Roundup settlement after one of the ingredients listed in their weed killers, glyphosate, was proven to cause cancer. This is frightening for people who are passionate about their gardens and used weed killers to manage their plants. Increasingly, people are looking for alternative ways to kill weeds.
But perhaps one of the best things we can do it prevent them from occurring in the first place! Luckily, we know a lot about how weeds spread, and there are some very effective methods to limit how many weeds appear in your garden. Some of these methods may initially seem time-consuming, but in the long run, it will save you a lot of time and energy as you will have a lot less weeds in your garden to battle with.
Here are some methods you can use to prevent weeds from occurring in your garden.
Mulching involves putting a layer of organic material across your flower beds. You can place newspaper or biodegradable material down in between your plants before placing wood chippings, leaves, or bark. It works by leaving no room for weeds to grow, and it will prevent any seeds from receiving sunlight. Mulch also has benefits for your other plants as it can help your ground to retain moisture and regulate temperature. Aim for 2 inches, but no more than 3, as this will stop much-needed oxygen from reaching your soil. You may need to top it up occasionally. Done right, it will also leave your garden looking great!
Over-populate your garden
If you have lots of other plants and leave little room in between them, then you will leave no room for weeds. The leaves from other plants will also stop sunlight getting to weed seeds that might be lurking beneath your soil.
Care for your plants with precision
Refrain from digging up soil unnecessarily as this can encourage seeds to grow. If you are planting seeds, then only dig up the area which you need to. Water and fertilizers will help weeds to grow as much as anything else, so give your plants only as much as they need. Or go one step further and install a drip irrigation system in your garden.
When you do find weeds in your garden, don’t dig them up as this will bring seeds to the surface and make them more likely to grow. Instead, cut off their heads, which often contain seeds and dispose of them carefully. You can also use a knife to cut at the roots, killing the weed without spreading more. After a good rainfall, you may be able to pull up weeds without disturbing the soil too much.
Dispose of garden waste carefully
Dispose of weeds and any other garden waste carefully. You never know where weed seeds may be lurking. Don’t dump any garden waste anywhere in your garden, even as you are gardening. Instead, put it all safely into a bin and either burn it, bury it, or move it to a waste facility.
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