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garden weed seeds

Most spacing recommendations, however, are based on the assumption that adjoining plants will barely touch when they reach mature size, so stick with the guidelines when working with plants that are prone to foliar diseases, such as bee balms (Monarda didyma and cvs., USDA Hardiness Zones 4–9) and phloxes (Phlox paniculata and cvs., Zones 4–8).

Great tips! Another one is to mow your lawn 3” or higher. This will help provide a better environment for the
grass and a less desirable environment for weeds, resulting in a greener,
thicker lawn.

3. Weed when the weeding’s good

Thank you for the tips. The weeds in my garden seem to grow in the blink of an eye. I spend a lot of time weeding my garden, only to see weeds popping up a week later. I might need to call a weed control service.

Put drought on your side by depriving weeds of water. Placing drip or soaker hoses beneath mulch efficiently irrigates plants while leaving nearby weeds thirsty. In most climates, depriving weeds of water reduces weed-seed germination by 50 to 70 percent. Watch out, though, for the appearance of deeply rooted perennial weeds, such as bindweed and nutsedge, in areas that are kept moist. They can take off in a flash when given the benefits of drip irrigation.

Keep it hot. Running a hot heap calls for precise mixing and remixing of materials. Rather than struggle to heat up a heap that wants to run cold, I suggest waiting until a weedy heap reaches a nearly rotted state to set things right. From there, you can solarize small batches of moist compost in black plastic nursery liners that are enclosed in clear plastic bags and placed in the sun for two to three days.

It can seem endless, but consistently weeding your garden will pay off. For every weed remove before it goes to seed, you effectively eliminate hundreds of its offspring. Commit to a weeding schedule and stick to it. The perfect time for weeding is while the soil is moist and plants are young. Gently pull weeds at their base (disturbing as little soil as possible) and discard away from the garden. If you encounter difficult roots, insert a sharp knife or Cape Cod weeder into the ground to sever the weed from its roots without disturbing the ground or mulch around it.

Weeds compete with grass and garden plants for space, light, water and soil nutrients. Not only do they look bad and have the ability to take over quickly, they’re also the perfect hosts for disease and insects. Before you know it, one weed can turn into many little thieves robbing your plants of their health.

Young plants from the local nursery can introduce new weeds to your garden. Weed seeds are great at spreading, even in a nursery environment. Inspect all new transplants closely to ensure they aren’t bringing in any undesirable friends. If you spot seeds or sprouts, simply pull them out before transplanting into your garden.

How to Prevent Weeds

Many vegetable gardens lie dormant during winter months. Some annual weeds actually pop up during cool weather, like chickweed and deadnettle. You may be asking yourself how to prevent weeds from growing in gardens without any plants or mulch. Keep these weeds from germinating and taking over your yard by planting a little bit of competition. Cool season cover crops, like ryegrass or clover, create a barrier for weeds by competing for light, water and nutrients. Simply till them under in early spring to introduce organic material and nutrients into the soil.

You can’t avoid tilling or hand cultivating when creating a new garden bed. It’s the best way to aerate the soil and incorporate organic material. What you don’t see is the buried weed seeds lying dormant just under the surface of the soil. Moving them to the top of the soil wakes them up and boosts them into germination. Once you’ve established a new garden bed, avoid unnecessary tilling and cultivating unless absolutely necessary.

Weeds just love the open, sunny spaces between garden plants. Plant vegetables, flowers and shrubs at the closest recommended spacing. Consider using block spacing instead of growing in rows to eliminate the open areas weeds tend to pop up in.

An effective and natural option to prevent weeds from taking over your garden is through the use of mulch. Apply a thick layer of organic mulch approximately 2 inches deep in the garden area – take care to avoid the base of individual plants and shrubs. Not only will mulch help the soil retain moisture, it also smothers out any small weeds and creates an unfriendly environment for tilled up weed seeds. While non-organic mulches (such as landscaping fabric and plastic) last much longer than organic mulches (like pine needles, cedar and leaves), they don’t break down to create a healthy soil environment.

Weeding with a hoe

Unfortunately for gardeners, some of the seeds in the weed seed bank can (and do) wait for years, or even decades, before germinating. As a result, even if you do a perfect job of weeding your garden (thereby preventing weeds from growing, flowering and adding new seeds to the bank), you will still have weeds every year. If you weed regularly, however, you should have less and less trouble with weeds as the years go by.

Gardeners with small plots (and those who are very conscientious users of mulch) may never do anything other than weed by hand. At one level, hand weeding is simple – find a weed, pull it up. In practice, pulling weeds so that you get the roots out takes some practice, and may involve a trowel, some kind of probing tool, or even a spade for large weeds (see tools for pictures of these implements). Weeds can also sometimes be difficult to tell apart from your desired crops. This can happen, for example, when you are growing plants from seed and the young plants have just emerged from the soil. There may be weeds growing in with them, but you can’t tell the weeds apart from your seedlings. Usually all you need to do is wait a few days to a week and let all of the plants grow a bit bigger, at which point you should be able to tell them apart and pull the weeds. If your plants are small (or the weeds are big), you may need to use one hand to hold down the soil around your desired plants while you pull nearby weeds with your other hand.

What to do with weeds once you pull them out

How to manage weeds?

Hand weeding

Whether you mulch or not, you will still have to deal with at least some weeds. Organic farmers use many different tools to kill or remove weeds, but in a garden your two main options are hand weeding (often with some kind of small tool to help you) and weeding with a hoe (see tools). However you weed, it is critical to remove the roots of your weeds. If you rip off or slice off only the tops, the roots will send up new stems and leaves and it will be even harder to get the roots out than it would have been before. It is often easiest to weed after a rain or after watering your garden because the roots come up more easily. However, if you pull weeds out of wet soil and let them sit in contact with the ground in your garden, you’ll be surprised by how many of them can reestablish their connection to the soil and survive. For this reason it’s important to physically remove pulled weeds from your garden (to your compost pile, for example), or at least to make sure that their roots can’t reach the soil.