Ideas for Weed Control

Controlling the weeds in your garden not only improves its appearance, it prevents nasty weeds from robbing your plants of moisture and nutrients, as well. Daily weeding and care of plants keep most weeds under control, but if you have a large garden that may not be enough. Many weeds are invasive and spread quickly to the rest of your garden if not removed promptly. Although handpicking provides protection for small gardens, for large areas, a weed barrier may be the best solution.

Organic Mulch

Use mulch around ornamental plantings or individual plants. Organic mulch like grass clippings, wood chips and bark applied 2 to 3 inches thick deters most weeds and retains moisture as well. Many organic types of mulch break down gradually over the summer and can be tilled into the soil at the end of the year, adding organic matter and improving the texture of your soil.

Landscape Fabric

Landscape fabric purchased at your local home improvement center creates an effective barrier to weeds and helps warm the soil. Use landscape fabric around ornamental plantings, between rows and under plants.

Black Plastic

Black plastic under heat-loving plants like tomatoes and peppers serves to control weeds and heat the soil. With care, plastic can be removed and saved for another year and may last up to three years.

Recycled Newspapers

Use newspapers for mulch between rows or under plants for an inexpensive alternative to purchased mulch. Not only do newspapers provide a barrier to weeds, they prevent soil borne disease from splashing back onto plants during rainstorms or watering.

Cultivation

Cultivate between rows in a garden with a garden tiller regularly to uproot weeds and loosen the soil. Remove any overturned weeds as they often take root and continue to grow if left in soil. Allow room for the use of a garden tiller when planting rows.

Cutting

Use a sharp hoe to cut weeds at the soil level on a regular basis. Depending on the type and number of weeds, you may need to use the hoe several times a week to keep weeds under control.

Herbicides

Use herbicide on resistant weeds, but exercise caution when using herbicides around edible plants. Herbicides kill vegetation and do not discriminate weeds from vegetables. For isolated invasive weeds, herbicides are effective treatments.

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About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.