How to Keep Weeds Out of a Garden

There is a very good reason why we need to keep weeds out of a garden. They soak up water and valuable nutrients that are meant for your plants. Many spread out and take over everything from your roses to the rhubarb.

This is why many gardeners throw their hands up in despair and feel like giving up.

Luckily, we have all sorts of options at our disposal with regards to keeping our gardens weed-free. One can minimize dealing with weeds by using all the methods and be persistent in carrying out what we’ve learned.

Knowing your enemy, or the weeds, is the best way to know how to deal with it when it rears its head.

How Does Weed Make Its Way Into Your Garden?

Lawn weeds originate from various sources:

  • They get carried in by the wind
  • Dropped by birds as they fly over your garden
  • Mowers utilized by lawn-service companies
  • Neighbors shoes
  • Pet paws

Even when you routinely apply natural weed killer, you will still have to carry on treating your garden as it turns out to be a never-ending endeavor. With so many methods at your disposal, it is imperative to be diligent in your efforts to remove any weeds regularly.

Were you aware of the fact that some of the best grass seed brands contain some weed seeds? You will notice that the percentage is often listed on the packaging. An unlikely carrier of weeds would be rock.

It would be far better to keep weeds out instead of having to pull them out of your garden all the time, Having said that, it might not be that easy to prevent a bird or a pet from carrying these into your garden.

There are several things you can do so you may limit how many seeds are brought into the garden.

Preventing Weeds From Gaining a Stronghold

One of the recommended ways to prevent weeds from germinating is to ensure the soil you use is weed-free and there is no sign of weed seeds. Thoroughly examine any plants you buy at the nursery to ensure small weeds are not growing with the plant. Should there be any, then scrape them away before planting it. Any organic matter or compost you want to use should be well-aged. This way, you know the weeds died already. Ensure you minimize your soil-cultivation efforts, as weed seeds would be present, and you do not want to bring them to the surface where they get to enjoy the sunlight. Also, if you cultivate the soil too often, it will lead to more weeds. It is much better to apply an organic mulch and let your earthworms take care of the cultivating.

If you have to till during times when you wish to clear a new garden bed, then wait until the ground is damp. Just like manual cultivation, tilling will also encourage weed growth once exposed to the sun.

You’ve heard it before. But, we are saying it again. Mulching, whether it be synthetic or organic mulches that you use, will smother weeds while it retains moisture and cool the soil. Just be aware that mulches may smother the seeds of self-seeding plants. Take note, too, that mulching provided additional benefits especially when it’s taken from organic material, like composted leaves or wood chips. You could even utilize a dark-colored sheet that is made from landscape fabric or plastic mulch.

What if you already have weeds growing?

There are various ways to get a handle on weed growth. One of the suggested methods involves applying the best weed killer products. However, it can be tricky to get it right, as you do not want them dropping on your favorite plants and end up killing them. This may happen when you spray the weeds on a windy afternoon.

Some weed killers are very powerful and effective without resulting in any harm to your plants. These work by spreading it from the leaves of your plants right to the roots. It comes in liquid form and will eventually go down into the soil itself to take care of weeds.

Another way is to weed by hand. This method might take more time but is the most successful method as you get hold of the entire root to remove weeds before they even get half a chance to flower and disperse more seeds. Doing this regularly and getting rid of small weed seedlings prove to be effective, as it will prevent them from spreading all over. If you choose to go the manual route, you can do is to make use of a hoe to scratch the surface of your soil during the heat of the day as the sun will quickly dry them out, roots and all. The only problem in doing it this way is that it is a constant process that may take a year or two before you finally eradicate any weeds.

In all likelihood, you would have heard of soil solarization. This involves heating the soil to kill off weeds and their seeds before you start planting your flowers in the garden bed. It is a method that works very well for larger areas. In this method, you till your soil, rake it until smooth, water the soil, and finally cover it using heavy-gauge plastic that is held down at the edges. The area surrounding it needs to be moist at all times. Allow eight weeks for the soil to kill the weeds.

The Use of Herbicides

Some of you may choose to use chemicals to kill weeds in your flower beds. This is risky, as you may end up harming pets or birds with these and also kill valuable flowers along with the weeds.

For this reason, you may want to start off by using benign products that utilize vinegar-based ingredients, herbicidal soaps or corn gluten meal. Be sure to follow the instructions given when using herbicides.

Finally, always sterilize any weeding tools you are about to use by rubbing alcohol wipes on it after every weeding session. This way, you will not transfer weeds or the seed from one area of your garden to another.

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