In the early years of gardening I hated weeds. They were my nemesis. It seems as if they were always out of control. One day there would be a handful of weeds and then a few days later, there were so many that I wanted to give up. My husband, who runs a landscape company says that we manage the weeds. They are a natural part of growing. If you have a perfect garden, then the weeds will grow perfectly.
It’s important to control weeds since they will compete for water and nutrients from your intended crop. If you’re like me once the weeds take over, I am discouraged and my garden becomes a chore. Here are a few tricks I have learned over the years to manage my weeds.
Remove weeds when they are small.
It’s more efficient to address the weeds when they first appear in your garden. If you catch them when they are small, remove them. Of course, it doesn’t seem as urgent. They are not shading your intended plants and they are not choking out what you have carefully planted, so it’s easy to just let them be. Like all plants, weeds have a growth cycle. If you allow them to grow and go to seed, then they will multiply quickly and take over your garden.
Then I use my Hula Hoe (also called Scuffle Hoe) to scarify the soil. This tool scrapes up the weeds and pulls them up. I quickly gather the weeds and separate them out of the soil. It takes me a few minutes to finish the whole bed.
My favorite saying is, “Inch by inch, everything is a cinch.” I weed one bed at a time and after a few days, they are all clean.
Don’t water the weeds.
One thing you’ll also notice about my garden is that I run drip to each one of my individual plants. This also keeps the weeds under control, since I am only watering where I intend to grow. I use to overhead water my garden beds. Now that I have drip running to all of my beds, the weeds really have to work hard to survive the hot weather. Next season, I will be helping a friend set up her garden and I will share how I set up a simple drip system.
Occasionally, the weeds do get out of control. In that case, I lay down burlap to cover the trouble area until I can get to the weeds and pull them up.
Staying on top of your weeds really is the shortcut! Manage your weeds well. That way you’ll have less weeds and more time to plant and harvest, which is my favorite part of gardening!
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