One of the most difficult tasks gardeners face is trying to eliminate, or at the very least, minimize the weeds in their vegetable garden.
Not only are weeds unsightly, they steal valuable nutrients from plants. In addition, they can be a safe harbor and breeding ground for pests and disease.
But, in spite of what many think, garden weeds can be controlled without endless hours of backbreaking weeding. And as strange as it sounds, it is a process that can be quite easy with a steady approach.
With that in mind, here is a look at 3 key secrets to help eliminate vegetable garden weeds – for good!
3 Simple Secrets To Eliminate Garden Weeds
# Stop Digging So Much
Every garden season, millions of gardeners grab their shovels or rototillers to turn their soil over. And in the process, they plant hundreds if not thousands of weed seeds. Weed seeds that up until that moment, were laying dormant on the surface.
Unfortunately, the easiest way to create a bigger weed issue in a vegetable garden is tilling or digging old weeds under.
The more you disturb your soil by digging and turning it, the more weeds you create. Tilling large swaths of soil leaves massive amounts of dirt exposed to blowing weed seeds. And, it plants weed seeds that were laying on the surface by the thousands.
So stop digging and working so hard!Simply by disturbing the soil where only plants or seeds go, you instantly eliminate many of the future weeding issues in a garden. (See : How To Create A No-Till Garden)
Not disturbing the soil also applies to in-season garden maintenance. Continuing to dig, hoe, or even till rows in season simply compounds your weeding issues. The real answer is in the next key tip – mulch!
Keeping the soil covered at all times is the number one way to both control and eliminate future weeds in the garden. And during the growing season, the easiest way to do that is with mulch.
Mulch in the garden is absolutely critical for weed control. A thick, three to four inch application around plants helps to suppress existing weeds and weed seeds. But even more, it keeps new weed seeds that blow in from ever finding a home in the soil.
In addition to eliminating weeds in the garden, mulch also has many additional benefits. It helps to control soil temperature and aids in soil erosion. Even more, it adds valuable organic matter as it breaks down, creating better soil.
So what are the best mulches to use in the vegetable gardens? Straw, compost, shredded leaves and lawn clippings top the list. See: The Best Mulches For Gardens & Flowerbeds
By simply pulling existing weeds and mulching, and not turning over and disturbing the soil, you will notice a considerable drop in recurring weeds the very first year. And even more in the years to come!
Cover Crop In The Fall
And that leads us to the final secret for eliminating weeds in the vegetable garden – fall cover crops!
Remember earlier in the article when we talked about keeping the soil covered at all times? Well, that includes the fall and winter when a garden is dormant.
Garden soil left exposed all winter long is an open invitation for an invasion of weeds. Weeds that will become next year’s garden issue.
The way to eliminate that cycle of weeds is by covering your garden with a fall cover crop. Cover crops are nothing more than a living, thick cover of vegetation over your exposed growing soil.
They are seeded as soon as your growing season is over, and keep weeds seeds from ever finding a home in the bare space.
Cover crops also help immensely with controlling soil erosion. And even more, they add valuable organic material back into your soil. Best of all, they don’t have to be tilled under in a no-till garden setting! For more on cover crops, See : How To Stop Next Years Weeds With A Fall Cover Crop
Here is to eliminating weeds in your vegetable garden this year. And in the process, enjoying it all more than ever!
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