How to Keep Your Garden Weed Free

What is a weed? Weed is any wild plant that’s growing in the garden,  among cultivated plants. They deprive cultivated plants of valuable nutrients, water, and light. They can also make the garden look untidy and messy.  Getting rid of weeds can be challenging if you don’t know how to do it properly. So here are presented some tips that will help to reduce and completely keep your garden weed free over time. 

No Tilling Or Digging In The Spring

Tilling the soil brings the weed seed up to the surface where it has all the needed conditions to grow like water, and sunlight. Besides, over time it destroys the natural structure of the soil, eliminating the air channels that provide the air, water, and nutrients plants need to grow. Dig only when you want to paint and cover the empty space with mulch or other plants.

Always Keep Soil Covered

Bare soil is your worst enemy. Remember there are thousands of weed seeds in the soil waiting for good conditions to germinate. So keep your garden covered all the time. Place your plants closer and try companion planting. Companion planting not only helps to get rid of weeds but also is a great way to maximize the efficiency of your garden. You can cover it with mulch in spring and summer and cover crops or black plastic during autumn and winter.

Separate Walk and Planting Areas

Walking on the garden soil causes compaction. Compacted soil has fewer air pockets and it’s harder for water to move through it. The only plant that grows on compacted soil is weed. Therefore, separate walking areas and planting areas only use designated walking paths across planting beds. Another way of solving weed and soil compaction problems while also making your garden look more organized and neat is raised beds. In addition, raised beds will make taking care of the plants easier.

pull out the weed

Don’t Let Weed Seed, Pull It Out When It’s Still Young

It is easier to pull them out when they are still immature and don’t have a strong root system. The best time for weeding is in the morning or whenever the soil is moist. Remove the weed entirely, be careful to not leave parts of roots in the soil. Weed regularly and don’t leave it on the ground. Even after they are pulled some weeds continue to develop seeds.  

Don’t Water The Whole Garden

Water only the plant itself, not the whole garden. By watering the whole garden you are also watering the weed and weed seeds, instead, you need to deprive it of water, nutrients as well as sunlight. So to deliver water directly to the root of the cultivated plant you can use drip irrigation.  Drip irrigation will reduce water use and save you money, time, and energy.

mulch

Use Mulch Again and Again and Again

Mulch is a layer of covering spread on the soil around plants to cut the weed and to help them to grow by keeping the soil moist. There are different types of mulch and the most common type of mulch used for gardening are shredded leaves, straw and hay. A 2-3 inch thick layer of mulch stops sunlight from reaching weed seeds. And even if some seeds germinate it is hard for weeds to grow through thick mulch layers. You need to apply the mulch regularly to keep it 2-3 inches. After growing season mulch naturally decomposes and improves your soil’s structure.

Use The Sun to Kill Weed

Soil Solarization can be done before planting or after the harvest. First clean and water the area where you plan on growing cultivated plants. The soil must be very wet then cover it with back or clear plastic and bury the edges. Plastic will keep sunlight out while the water will evaporate as a result the weed dies. Remove the plastic after 4 weeks. Solarization can also kill some fungi and diseases.

 

Build Healthy Soil

Healthy soil is rich in minerals, organic matter has black/dark brown color and produces a good harvest. To build healthy soil or to keep it healthy you should fertilize your soil with natural amendments compost or rotted manure.

The top layer of soil contains organic matter, microorganisms, and soil nutrients.  Leaving the soil exposed to rain, wind and other weather conditions wash out the top layer of the soil causes erosion. To protect valuable topsoil, cover it with mulch during the growing season. After the harvest, plants cover crops or cover with back plastic. All the proposed methods are effective and will solve the weed problem. But it is worth mentioning that certain types of weeds may be useful and have different uses, such as herbal medicine. Weeds can also fertilize and protect the soil. Therefore, it is best not to completely remove the weeds, but to leave some of them in the garden where they will not bother you or harm cultivated plants.

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