Tired of those pesky invaders marring your garden? Yes, when your garden springs to life during the spring and summer season so do the weeds. Managing the weeds that pop up in your garden can be super challenging. It often results in an all-out war. The key to effectively managing weeds in your garden is understanding their role in the ecosystem. It may seem like spring is still far off, but now is the time to start planning.
What Are Weeds?
What exactly are weeds? Weeds are unwanted plants that grow in a garden. They don’t take on one specific look. In fact, they can belong to a branch of any plant family including; grass, tree perennials or even an annual. A weed can be a native species plant or a plant that has already been introduced to the garden but grew out of hand. Weeds can change based on their geographic location. They even spread by roots, seeds, and runners.
While these unsightly plants are often undesirable they can offer many benefits. Some weeds are edible while others serve as a food source for pollinators.
Removing and Preventing Weeds
It’s impossible to completely prevent weeds from growing in a garden. However, there are few strategies you can implement to limit them from cultivating in your garden. Here are some important tips:
Build Rich Soil
Weed grows in compacted soil and rich soil will greatly reduce weeds. If you have a vegetable garden you should form your soil beds at least twelve inches high and fill it with high-quality soil. Line the bottom of the soil bed with cardboard which will smother intrepid weeds.
The smaller the weeds are the easier they are to remove. Therefore, you’ll need to perform regular maintenance to remove them while they are small before they have time to go into seed mode and spread further. Weeds on raised beds can simply be plucked away with your fingers.
Remove the Root
When removing weeds, you’ll need to pull them out by the root or the whole plant. Weeds with fibrous roots you will have to dig around the entire plant.
If you have a big weed problem, you can try smothering or solarizing them which will starve the soil of oxygen over a few weeks. While this is a drastic measure it will definitely be effective at staving off weeds.