Thursday, June 14, 2018

Winning the war on weeding

We found the flowers in our rock garden, mostly thanks to my husband, Ken and the weed eater. When times get tough and the weeds are taking over, what else can we do?
Well, there are a few things, with prevention being the easiest.

Here are some ways to reduce weeding or at least make it more fun:
1. Cover it up.  Black plastic or low pile carpet scraps (not Shag, it just doesn't look right). Place cover down where you aren't growing anything, like in walkways and borders around the garden. Black plastic with mulch on top, is good for the walkways. Rototilling between the rows is efficient for keeping the weeds under control, but it needs to be done every three weeks. Weed block or landscaping cloth can help, but it has to be replaced in time. My advice, is don't bother buying the cheap woven kind, the roots of the weeds get stuck, creating more work. There's a bonded type, if you want to spend the money.
2. Mulch to reduce the need to weed. You can use a number of items. I am heading out to the garden this morning to rake water weeds from the pond for mulch. Other materials you can use, to avoid buying expensive bags of mulch include wet newspapers, straw, grass clippings, leaves, aged manure and aged compost. Manure should not be fresh.
3. Hoe hum.  Hoe the little weeds, that are less than once inch and pull the larger weeds. Hoe 3 to 4 inches deep. I really don't like to hoe, so I usually wait until the weeds are big enough to pull.
4. Weeding is Zen. Weed when the soil is moist or water beforehand and wait a few hours. Remember to water after you weed. I take a tool and loosen the soil before pulling weeds. A tool like the hula hoe which looks like a hoop on a stick or the mini rake or a pronged tool can help loosen the soil. You can use a hand trowel to dig up the big weeds. I do my best thinking while weeding.
5. Garden yoga. My friend Mickey told me her trick to weeding includes the three yoga poses of weeding, (no kidding). Bend over and pull. If you do that too many times, you'll feel it for a week. Squat down on your haunches. I can only do this for a few minutes. Kneeling. This works great until you need to move. You can add various yoga poses, like crossing your legs while stretching over to pull weeds, maybe meditate a bit too while you're down there. The main thing is to change positions to prevent continuous repetitive motions.
May your weeds be few and your produce bountiful.

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