So you’ve planted your spring garden. Congratulations! Now you have make sure that weeds don’t overtake and destroy that beautiful landscape you’ve been dreaming about all winter. Here are some tips on weeding a garden.
Herbicides may help control some of the weeds you see springing up. But they’re not a long-term answer. You’ll need to pull up a lot of what you see and this can be hard work. Fortunately, there are ways to make this job a little easier.
1. Practice strategic weeding
The best time to weed is when the soil is damp. This could be after a rainstorm or deep watering. For weeds with a fibrous root system, you should wait until the soil has begun to dry. Also remember that if you can remove weeds when they are young and have not yet gone to seed, you can better control the overall weed population.
2. Use gloves and a good technique
If you are weeding by hand, a pair of gardening gloves will protect you from spines, thorns, sharp edges and sap that may irritate your skin. When you want to pull small weeds away from small plants, hold the soil down with one hand while pulling the weed out. For weeds with deeper roots, grab as much of the root as you can and pull the root up and out with a slight twisting motion. Put all weeds in a bucket or bag to minimize the spread of seeds.
3. Have the tools you need
If you don’t want to bend or kneel while you garden, hoes can help you sever weeds at or below ground level. Taproot diggers can also useful because their long necks and notched heads can pry up weeds with long roots. If you are gardening on a large plot of land, rototillers can help you work weeds into the soil.
4. Use mulch or ground covers
A good way to prevent weeds from cropping up is to mulch your garden with wood chips, shredded bark or leaves. You can achieve similar effects using landscaping fabric or black plastic. Both materials will discourage weed growth by essentially smothering them. But landscaping fabric will allow some air and water to penetrate to the ground below, which will lessen the chance that the roots of plants you want will accidentally dry out.
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