Weeds are a common problem. If you own a garden or manage one, you’ll know that a lot of unwanted plants love to choke the life out of what you’ve planted. For this reason, you spend a lot of time trying to get them out. Not every attempt to do so is as effective though. This is because over time weeds have developed a lot of resistance to different methods to get rid of them. Not anymore. With this article, you’ll learn how to clear a garden full of weeds.
One thing you don’t want is a situation where you kill your plants along with the weeds. Here are points to help you get things right and rid your garden of weeds for good.
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Best Way to Remove Weeds from Large Area
There’s a lot to gain from using mulch in your garden. The most important is dealing with the weeds while you also get to keep your soil cool and with enough moisture. This ensures the weeds don’t receive light to keep growing. Also, some mulches like the organic variety attract crickets and carabid (ground) beetles that find pleasure in eating weed seeds.
If you’re going to use mulches, try to keep the weed seeds out and replenish the mulch as often so that it’s around 2 inches. Going above that can choke the soil since enough oxygen won’t go through. A good way to deal with this is by using a newspaper or something similar before spreading the mulch.
Mulches, when used adequately will decompose and provide nutrients to your soil and plants. Further, it’s easy to apply some between the wanted plants in your garden. Just observe a good distance so that insects and rot won’t take over.
Chop of Weed Heads
Weeds often prove difficult to take out or kill. Your best bet? Take off their heads! This is the best option when you have to deal with annual weeds. When you cut off their heads, you gain more time before they come back again. Getting a few weeks of respite from annoying weeds will help you deal better with them next time.
Furthermore, with the heads off, they use up reserves of food and moisture thus stopping them from spreading. Since you can’t spend all day stooped and cutting off their heads, a good tool will come in handy. For this, pruning loppers is an ideal tool particularly if you have tall weeds.
Getting the weed heads off right before they go on to seed is a great way to limit them. When they are all grown, their seeds drop and spread all around. You’ll have more work trying to clear your garden.
Water Only Your Plants
Sounds hard to do right? Well, this is not entirely true, especially when you get the spacing of your plants right. This very act means the weeds don’t receive water which helps their growth and spread. Get a drip or soaker hose under your mulch and water your plants. Of course, the weeds are close by but not close enough to much-needed water. While this stops the spread of weeds and their seeds, there are some deep-rooted weeds like nutsedge. These types of weed will spring up with very little water, whether you drip-irrigate or water plants in isolation.
Remember, weeds only need a little amount of water to get busy competing with your plants. This is why you need accuracy in ensuring only your plants get water.
On the other hand, close plant spacing is good so that newly formed weeds are dealt with. The area between close plants is shaded so that weed seeds don’t get the much-needed air and light. Further, with a scattered garden of plants, not only do you lose shape, you lose good space and allow weeds to choke the life out of your plants.
Pull the Weeds Out
Finally! Something you can comfortably do with your hands. But the catch is; this works better when you don’t have a lot of garden space to cover. Also, there are a couple of tools you can consider using but sometimes, a nice and small garden space is better attended to with your hands. Not so much for a large area. All you have to do is get a hold of them and apply a little force to pull them out. What’s more, some weeds are quite tough. For such, wearing a waterproof glove helps. A seeding pad is also necessary so your work becomes less tedious.
Furthermore, pulling weeds out also gives you the chance to take it out along with the roots. This way, you’re dealing with them on a permanent basis. It takes some technique though, because you’re not cutting off only their heads and part of their stems. For instance, leaving parts of the roots of a dandelion only encourages it to grow again. For such plants, their important roots don’t remain.
Use a Weed Eater
Sometimes the size of a garden is enough to wonder how you’re going to get through it. The large area presents a challenge human effort might find difficult to handle. For this reason, most homeowners prefer to use an electric weed eater. It is a string trimmer equipped with a blade attachment that helps to effectively cut down thistles and other weed types. More so, it packs the necessary power to cover a large weed-infested area in good time.
If you have a bunch of overgrown patches of weed in your garden, a weed eater is what you want. It’s easy to use and helps your lawn too. They’ll have a well-trimmed look that’s pleasing on the eye. Everyone loves a good-looking lawn but with terrible weeds, the only tool you need is a weed eater. There are different types of machines out there whether they are gas-powered, electric or cordless. Whichever you choose, your garden will benefit from the best service.
Weed eaters also help you trim your yard edges. It’s a given that weeds breed faster in such locations. What you can do is use a trimmer to mow them off. This way, they don’t spread. Also, a trimmer makes more sense for your lawn edges since it can easily reach the weeds. More so if you have highly well-grown and annoying weeds placed in odd places.
Dig Weeds Up
This is a classic response to weeds that just won’t die. They are stubborn enough to become dormant and spring up at the slightest opportunity. They also spread seeds around thus encouraging more weeds. This is mostly the case with roots that hardly die.
What you can do? Dig them up! Good tools for such activity include a spade, a little shovel, or a digging fork. With these tools, the roots of weeds don’t stand a chance. Using your hand is another option but roots can remain. A spade will get to those roots and deal with the problem permanently.
The best time to dig weeds out is just after a rainfall or when they are really dry. They’ll be soft enough to pull out all the way from the root up.
Planting Cover Crops
Cover crops are another option you should consider to deal with a garden full of weeds. It’s okay to get a lawn sweeper to give your garden a lovely look. But you’d be surprised to see how effective cover crops are at dealing with weeds. For instance, if you plant crops like wheat, clover or barley discourages the growth of weeds. They will block them from growing when their access to light and air is denied.
If this proves too much to do, let the weeds take up your garden space. Of course, you’re not leaving it that way for long. When they reach a certain level, you’ll have an easy time it clearing them. This way, you’ll have a fresh space to plant your garden along with any crop you want. To make the process faster, get some sheets of clear plastic to cover the garden space you want to use. Do this during the early parts of spring so that the soil gets warm which also allows weeds to grow faster. With the weeds growing to a certain level or inches above the soil, take them out by pulling or with a spade.
As you pull, ensure you get it out with the roots and stem. Then go-ahead to start your garden with the plants you want.
Preserve Your Garden’s Soil
There are a few beliefs most homeowners and gardeners have when it comes to the best practices to keep weeds out. One of which is turning your soil at night. Well, that might work a treat for some but it’s a largely unproven tactic. On the flip side, light, no matter how little, will encourage the growth of weed. So, when you turn your garden soil in the daytime, it gets the exposure to light you don’t want it to have.
If at all you’re going to preserve your soil by turning, do so at night. But one thing you must do is ensure the roots of the weeds get taken out. Without doing so, you’ll be putting your soil and plants at risk.
Furthermore, a lot of people are comfortable working at sundown or deep into the night. This is not a bad idea but hardly helps to prevent weeds from growing. What you can do though, is preserve the natural layers of your soil by leaving it the way it is. This is because turning it will most likely give dormant weed seeds access to air and light. They need very little to spring up again.
These are proven ways to remove weeds over a large area. Whether it’s a big garden space, it’s great to note that you don’t have to use harmful chemicals. You can mulch, use a machine like weed eaters, pull them out with your hands or dig them up. This is aside from the other ways that offer excellent results to keep your garden safe and rich.
Further, you can get fresh compost and other organic matters to keep weed away. When your soil is healthy and enriched with nutrients, weed seeds don’t stand a chance against your plants. The weeds won’t get the space to thrive, and they won’t appear frequently.