Everyone loves the benefits of a garden, but one of the worst enemies of a gardener are the weeds that grow in the garden. Garden weed control is important, as weeds are selected by nature and maintained as the survival of the fittest. Vegetables you may plant in your garden are selected for their taste, therefore they may be varieties that aren’t as tolerant as the weeds that will creep into your garden. Weeds can germinate faster, and often grow faster then the neighboring vegetables that they will be competing for nutrients with. Therefore you must always have a head start on the weeds in your garden, and keep them at bay. Some people may believe that by roto-tilling a garden they are getting rid of weeds as they are turned under the ground. However you may actually be making your weed problem worse, as turning over the dirt may bring weed seeds underground to the surface. The best solution is to cover your garden with a mulch each fall to prevent seeds from getting into your garden.
Weaker plants such as cabbage should be started indoors, and only transplanted to the garden when they are large enough to compete with the stronger weeds that will sprout in the garden. Unfortunately you will have to make time to pull the unwanted weeds from your garden. However it is easier to pull the weeds out when they are small and the roots haven’t taken a strong hold in the soil. Don’t let weeds get out of control, as you will be overwhelmed with the amount of work required, to keep your garden weed free. There are several garden tools that you may use, to help keep the weeds under control. These include swan and collinear hoes, as cape cod and farmers weeders. You can use the Swan hoe to sweep away the weeds, very similar to how you sweep a floor. Make sure you keep your weeding tools sharp. A sharp hoe will cut the weeds, and sever the plants from their roots. Additionally you can use a pair of scissors to cut weeds away from vegetables in tight areas that don’t allow the use of a garden hoe.
There are several types of mulches that you can use in your garden to suppress garden weeds. The first type are known as organic mulches, and these include all types of dead plant matter. Straw, grass clippings, leaves, and hay are all examples of organic mulches. These must be spread thick enough to block the light and prevent weeds. Plastic mulches will produce similar results to organic mulches. However some plastic mulches don’t allow adequate water to pass through, and others heat the soil too much, and this may be detrimental to certain garden crops. Finally the last class of mulches are known as living mulches. Here you plant so close together that nothing else can grow in the area. Some vegetables that can be used as living mulches include lettuce, spinach, and kale. Lettuce can be planted among other crops, as it is slow growing and won’t shade other plants as it matures. Additionally lettuce doesn’t use too many nutrients from the soil, therefore it won’t be competing with its neighboring vegetables.