There is nothing more frustrating than the constant battle to eliminate weeds from flowerbeds.
Gardeners spend hours and hours nurturing annuals and perennials to grow and bloom. All while watching helplessly as weeds thrive without any care at all.
Weeds are not only unsightly, but steal valuable nutrients from the soil. Nutrients that annuals and perennials require to flourish and flower.
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But by avoiding a few common mistakes, and implementing a couple of simple techniques, you can eliminate weeds, and keep weeding chores to a minimum in the process.
How To Eliminate Weeds In Flowerbeds
The number one way to eliminate weeds from flowerbeds is to keep the soil surface covered. And that means year round!
Open soil is a wide-open invitation for weeds to thrive and flourish. When the soil is bare, weed seeds easily drift or blow in and sprout.
The easiest and quickest method to effectively cover soil is with mulch.
Mulch actually serves a whole slew of beneficial purposes when it comes to it’s use in flowerbeds.
Not only does it provide a barrier for weed seeds, it also helps regulate soil temperature and conserve moisture. And many mulches add valuable nutrients to the soil as they break down. (See : Choosing The Best Mulch For Your Landscape)
But just using mulch isn’t enough. It also needs to be put down and maintained correctly to help eliminate future weeds from your flowerbeds.
One of the most common mistakes made when mulching beds is failing to put down enough. An inch or two of mulch is simply not enough to keep weed seeds from finding a home in the soil below.
Mulch in flowerbeds should be kept at a minimum of 3 to 4 inched of depth at all times. Anything less, and weed seeds will cause havoc.
In addition, be sure to remove deep-rooted weeds before mulching. Large rooted weeds are not phased by deep mulch, and will simply return time and time again until their tap root is removed.
Don’t Disturb The Mulch
And finally, whatever you do, don’t rake that mulch! Believe it or not, not raking is one of the best ways to eliminate weeds in flowerbeds.
For many gardeners, heading out to stir up faded mulch in their flowerbeds is a great way to freshen up a bed’s appearance.
Unfortunately, although it might make the mulch look a bit less faded, it also creates weeds. And a lot of them! Every time mulch is disturbed by raking and turning, you are re-planting weed seeds that have been laying dormant on the surface.
Seeds are constantly blowing into flowerbeds from all over. They can also be dropped on the surface of the mulch from birds, other wildlife, and from foot traffic.
On top of the surface, seeds struggle to find the ability to sprout. But as soon as mulch is stirred, they quickly find a home underneath below the surface.
In the blink of an eye after stirring up the surface, they are sprouting full force.
Resist the urge to turn over mulch. Keep the mulch barrier in tact to keep weed seeds from finding soil. Instead, freshen up with an ultra light coat of new mulch every few months when mulch looks faded.
This also helps keep the mulch thick enough to repel weed seeds.
Fill The Flowerbed!
Speaking of mulch, the absolute best mulch of all is living mulch. And it is by far the number one way to eliminate future weeds from flowerbeds!
Instead of having wide open spaces providing a space for weeds to find a home, fill your flowerbeds full of plants. The more the better!
Thick plantings of annuals and perennials are the best defense against crowding out and preventing weeds.
And the benefits don’t stop there. Dense plantings help to conserve moisture in the soil, meaning less watering time for you. Maybe best of all, the less you need to mulch, the less mulch you have to have to spend on it!
As late summer and fall approach. divide and split overgrown perennials to fill in open spaces. It not only adds to the beauty of your beds, it cuts future weeding chores greatly. (See : How To Divide Perennials)
Here is to eliminating weeds from your flowerbeds this year!
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