Weeds, Weeds, and More Weeds

Or: How to cope with weeds in your garden

 

We were tickled by the story of a mother in law from another country cultivating a whole garden of beautiful flowers, only to be told later that they were all in fact weeds… There is a lot to be said as well for the old phrase that one man’s weed is another man’s wildflower. This got us thinking about the ‘perennial’ problem of weeds.

 

Tolerate or loathe them, weeds can be a real problem for gardeners. The weeding process can also take up a lot of time and effort when it comes to maintaining your garden. There is nothing worse than the tell-tale spiky leaves of a major dandelion invasion peaking out from your beautiful borders.

 

Today’s article is all about weeds and weeding… read on!

 

The main problem with weeds aside from looks, is that they rob the soil of nutrients. This means weeds can really have a detrimental impact on your veg patch, and on the health of other flowers, plants, and shrubs.

 

A bit of background

Just like every other plant, weeds come in many varieties and can be annual, perennial, or biannual. Perennials (and dandelions are included in this group) are the hardest to get rid of by far…

 

Making sure weeds don’t get the opportunity to go to seed is one of the most important things you can do for your garden. Nipping your weeds in the bud – quite literally – before they get a chance to flower or seed, really is one of the best ways to get on top of any weed problems.

 

Zen process

Some gardeners out there liken the art of weeding to Zen-like meditation. Others do not… wherever you fall on this spectrum, rest assured that weeds are an inevitable part of a gardener’s life. They travel in all sorts of ways like in the air, carried on the breeze, tracking in via animal (or shoe) carriers, and even via bird droppings. Weeds are here to stay.

 

How to control weeds

Don’t let them go to seed – ever! Think about how many seeds you think just one plant has, then think that this is how many new plants will pop up next year. Seriously. Nip all weed flowers quickly to reduce seeding potential – guinea pigs and rabbits especially adore dandelion flowers and leaves and will thank you for giving them a bountiful harvest.

 

You can also cover larger areas with plastic sheeting to smother any weeds. If you’re making a veg patch or starting a new flowerbed, this could be a good technique for you. A great time to do this is over winter so that any weeds dormant in the soil don’t even get the chance to rear their little weedy heads some the spring.

 

Mulch, mulch, and mulch some more. Mulching is another way to smother weeds by blocking light and air from their leaves. Just remember that fresh animal manure will have weed seeds within it, it’s better to stick to wood chipping, newspaper, and grass clippings.

 

So, there you have three great ways to fend off weeds – we’ll come back to this in the future so keep your eyes peeled.

 

For now, get your hands on a pair of our gorgeous gloves and head on out there into the green and weedy yonder.