Help! Help was my first thought as I entered the garden in mid June. As we all feared might happen, the weeds are taking over.Even with GBS, we had decided that we would tackle the garden on our own this year. And the planting went well! We were feeling great about how quickly and how well the planting went!
Here's a view of the garden before we planted... isn't it lovely and WEED FREE?!
Unfortunately, the one issue that just cannot be avoided is weeding! Where there was not adequate protection from weed growth, weeds have taken over.
One month later:
So - here we are in early July and we are struggling with how to tackle the weeds, given my inability to weed - and my family's time constraints in helping. But - we did take some steps to prevent weeds - some of which have worked, and some have not (obviously).
Here are three lessons on weeding we've learned so far this summer:
1 - Control the amount of potential weed seeds by not cultivating deep. The deeper you cultivate the more seeds are available to germinate. Weed seeds are everywhere. If you mix up the soil too much you create more opportunities for the weed seeds to germinate. (Unfortunately, we cultivated too deep.) So - to combat our error in cultivation, our focus is on destroying any possibility of the weeds to continue to grow. We are mowing down the areas that weeds have taken over. At this point, the weeds had not gone to seed which should mean we use the greens as “green manure.” Then, we will continue to keep it mowed and turn the remains over with our tiller.
2 - Commercial mulching controls weeds by blocking the seeds and plants from the sun. They provide a neat appearance and it seems to work.
One of the things we did this year in order to prevent weeds was to place a landscape fabric down to protect certain crops such as tomatoes, herbs and peppers
We used four different kinds of commercial weed prevention and mulch - and will share more about these in another post with our reviews (because if they're working for us given how little we're able to weed, they'll work for you)! And if they don't work... well, that's good to know, too.
And 3 - Cover any other open areas with our natural mulch from the seedless hay and leaves that have been breaking down in mulch piles around the garden. This process should eliminate any weeds from receiving sunlight. It also provides enrichment to the soil as the mulch breaks down, as well as smothers the weeds and their seeds. Weeds do not grow and your soil takes in rich nutrients. We are learning a lot - especially in how to best prevent weed growth if you're not able to spend as much time in your garden, like us this year. We're excited to share more with you as we learn these lessons. Question for the future:
”How can I avoid the weeds from coming back so abundantly every year?”