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How to Keep Weeds to a Minimum in the Garden


Date Posted: January 12, 2016

Seeds of the Month Club by Mike the Gardener How to Keep Weeds to a Minimum in the Garden
photo credit: iStockPhoto

Yes I did. I mentioned the evil W word. For gardeners, the word that begins with the letter W is a big no-no. Just the mere mention of it sends shivers down our spines. Why? Because it means that a plant we don’t want in our garden, is taking away vital nutrients from the plants we do want in our garden.

Nobody, including yours truly, likes to weed. Ok, maybe there is somebody out there that enjoys it, but I can tell you for a fact, that I do not. Especially on those hot summer days where even the shade of the early morning can’t save you from the heat.

But what I can tell you is that you can create a weedless garden. Now that does not mean weed free. A weed free garden, as Joe Lamp’l, host of Growing a Greener World, puts it, is the holy grail of gardening, and is impossible. You simply cannot have a garden where at least one weed will pop up. The reason being is, between the wind, birds and other natural affects, weed seeds will find their way to your fertile garden soil.

Related: 8 Natural Ways to Kill Garden Weeds

You can however, easily achieve a weedless garden. That means that your weeding time is greatly reduced from using a few tricks. I have gotten to the point where I do about 5 minutes of weeding first thing in the morning and my garden beds are done. Here is what I do.

NO TIL GARDENING

One of the easiest things to do is to stop tilling your garden. By not tilling your garden you are not bringing the weed seeds closer to the top where they will be able to germinate. Leave those weed seeds right where they are, eighteen to twenty inches deep in your soil.

USE DRIP LINES

Weed seeds, like other seeds, need water to germinate. When you set up a drip line in your garden, or drip irrigation, you are only watering the plants you want to get watered, therefore there is virtually no water getting to the weed seeds that are in your soil. Obviously you can’t control the rain, but drip irrigation helps reduce the amount of water those pesky weed seeds will receive.

USE A BARRIER

I use this method each and every season, and I do so, because it works. After I mix in compost into my soil, and before I do any planting, I will lay down a barrier of newspaper, about 2 to 4 pages thick. The newspaper is biodegradable, won’t harm your plants or soil, and prevents the weed seeds below from getting any sun. I will also lay about one to two inches of mulch (usually the free pine needles from the pine trees in the park near my house), to help hold down the newspaper and give the garden beds a nicer look.

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While there is simply no way of preventing weeds at all, when you combine all 3 of these tips, you too can reduce your weeding time down to just a few minutes each morning before you begin your day.

Share your thoughts in the comment section below and don’t forget to listen to me weekly on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast.

Happy Gardening!


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Mike the gardener

About the Author

Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts. Don`t forget to link up with Mike on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


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If you want to learn more about weeds, check out these titles below:


KEYWORDS:

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