Weed Control-Winning the Battle

It has been so wonderful to finally get back into the garden again, but with all the rain we have had in the Boston area the weeds are taking over.  Keeping your landscape plantings and flower beds  free of weeds is a battle, but if you approach it with a strategic plan, you will prevail. 

Basically weeds grow either from seed, or they reproduce from their roots. As the roots grow outward from the parent plant new plants sprout up from the lateral roots, creating more parent plants and the process continues and the weeds thrive. Weeds that tend to reproduce from the root are usually more difficult to control.

Weeds are plants, and they function just like the desirable plants in your yard. They need water, sunlight, and nutrition to survive. Of these three key survival needs, the easiest one for a gardener to eliminate is sunlight. Through proper mulching you can eliminate the sunlight. Not only does mulch help to control the weeds, but if you select a natural mulch it also adds organic matter to the soil which makes for better gardening results down the road.

I like the organic method of eliminating weeds it takes more prep time but the end results are worth it.  Take either 6 layers on black/white newspaper only, avoid colored sections of the newspaper; they may have heavy metal inks which are toxic. The newspaper will block the sunlight from reaching the surface of the soil and help to keep weed growth to a minimum. The newspaper will eventually decompose, and not permanently alter the make up of your garden. An alternative source is corrugated cardboard which you can get from most appliance stores.  Never use plastic, unless you are weeding a vegetable garden. Plastic blocks the transfer of water and oxygen, and eventually your soil and plants will suffer as will your garden.

Spread the newspaper or cardboard around you plant or shrubs and quick generously moisten the newspaper so it is soaked. Then you can mulch with organic mulch.  The advantages of this are that both the newspaper and the mulch will slowly decompose and improve the texture of the soil.

Happy Gardening……weeds be gone!

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