Even careful gardeners know that unwanted weeds will creep into their garden. It can be a challenge to control them in an environmentally safe way. How do you control weeds in the garden? This month The Rootsy Community comes together to bring their best ideas to the table. We call it CSA, Community Supported Answers! Leave your comments in the post.
Every area of the country has its share of noxious weeds. Those pesky plants that are so hard to eradicate that you might be considering chemical herbicides to get rid of them. In my neck of the woods, its an invasive grass called Johnsongrass, a fast-growing perennial that can grow up to 7 feet tall. This grass is able to spread easily by a system of rhizomes which are horizontal underground roots and are almost impossible to keep out of garden beds. Control is accomplished by tilling strategies and agricultural grazing.
Here’s the topic of the month:
What are your tried and true ways to control weeds in the garden?
What about you? We know how awesome The Rootsy Community is! Give us your answer to this month’s Community Supported Answer (CSA) and tell us your success stories about how you control weeds in your garden.
Leave your comments below. We’ll take the answers you leave us and compile them into an article in this very spot! We know Rootsy readers are generous and want to share their knowledge so everyone can benefit from the experience and wisdom they have gained!
The rules of Rootsy Responds:
- We reserve the right to edit comments for content and usefulness.
- No political or religious discussion is allowed.
- Offer only supportive words. Let’s follow grandma’s advice: if we don’t have anything nice to say we don’t say it at all.
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Stay tuned, at month end we will consolidate your ideas into a comprehensive post compiled from all your best ideas. We can’t wait to see what knowledge you share with the community!
Thursday 17th of May 2018
I also live in Missouri, but in the NE corner, where weeds are plentiful, but rocks are not! We too use large round bales of straw as mulch, and do our best to avoid letting weeds go to seed. These days I'm pulling weeds young and tossing them on the beds to decompose.
Here are a few more tips: https://homestead-honey.com/2014/06/05/5-strategies-weed-free-garden/
Saturday 4th of January 2020
Very well said! Organic materials work well. As does regular weeding. I moved into a rental and was permitted to put in a small flower garden. The chick weed was pretty thick. I learned that if I weeded on hot days...or waited 2-3 days till the soil was dry, the chick weed popped right out and was fast,easy to get all the roots. It's hard when soil is wet or compacted. Then I moved to a new area and had top soil brought in. There's lots of wet swampy areas and while the quality of soil is good, it's FULL of horsetail. So now I have lots of that which grows by underground rhizomes. It grows so tall there's no definition btwn plants and shorter ones you can't see the blooms.So I really started ernest work on it last summer. I'm planning to use newspaper and wet cardboard in layers thick in between plants and cover it with a compost mulch. I don't like using bark mulch because it doesn't look natural and all you see is a lot of bark. I also heard that it works well to pack the plants in closer together so weeds don't come through as much. I'm also not going to use weed mat anymore as weeds come up through any little hole in the fabric and you tear more holes trying to pull it out. Going back to organic.
Wednesday 16th of May 2018
We live in an area where we can get those huge, round bales of hay for a reasonable price. We use them to smother weeds in growing areas and for sheet mulch new garden areas on top of turf - no one in their right mind digs into the Missouri soil if they can help it because, apart from our insane ability to grow weeds, we grow rocks here even better. You do have to reapply straw mulch several times during the growing season but this is, by far, the most economical choice for me where I live. When we lived in NC we used pine straw because that's what was cheapest - in North Carolina, pine trees are weeds so we had an abundance of pine needles.
They best part about organic material weed suppression is that it decomposes and enriches the soil. Variety of materials will always be the most nutritive for the soil, so you do have to feed the soil with other things like manure. However, straw mulch is still the easiest thing for my family and the large gardens we tend.
Weeds really only exist in the soil because they're trying to help balance minerals and nutrients and bring to the dirt whatever its lacking. If you can convince them that their services are no longer required in your dirt by consistently enriching your soil, eventually they'll leave and go be "helpful" somewhere else. Hopefully not your neighbors yard!!
Saturday 5th of May 2018
Really, weeds weren't much of an issue in my last home/climate. Being near the beach, so much of our topsoil was sand that the few that did come up were easily plucked thanks to the softness of the sand. Water management or really row management was an issue because of this sandy soil. I had to make sure that my rows were designed well to retain the water and put soil berms at the end of each row so that the water didn't flow away from where I needed it.
Because of this, if I ever garden in another tougher soiled climate again, I may mix some sand in my compost/top layer so that it makes them easier to pluck right out. I remember the clay soil we had as a kid and it was torturous to pull weeds.
Plus, instead of a weekly chore, look ar weeding as a daily "zen" moment with your coffee. Unless you have acres to deal with, it's easy to stroll out there with your mug and weed a row every day. That makes it feel like less of a chore and more a routine part of your day.
I've also used organic methods here and there and for the life of me, I can't remember them without digging out my old journal and they were hit and miss anyway.