Sunday, August 6, 2017

A weed is...

“A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” Ralph Waldo Emmerson
Most gardeners would not agree with Emmerson. They see weeds as an enemy. One which they will go to extreme lengths to vanquish. They will even wage chemical warfare in desperate attempts to rid their lawn and garden of any invaders.
There is no need to go to the extreme to reduce the weeds in the garden bed. First, instead of seeing weeds as an enemy, view them as an opportunity. An opportunity to get outside and enjoy the weather while getting some exercise.
There are a number of great tools that have the sole purpose of removing weeds. Buy one you like and put it and you to work. Most of us can use some exercise, so turn your garden into a home gym and shed a few pounds while growing healthy and happy plants.
If you do not want to weed, then there are several ways to prevent weeds from becoming a problem in the first place.
The first and most important thing to remember about growing any plant is that healthy soil makes for healthy plants.
I have stated this before and repeat it now, because the next reduce weeding technique I will mention, is close cropping. Close cropping involves placing plants closer together than the planting instruction recommend.
This cuts down on the vacant space available for weeds to colonize. It will also increase the yield the gardener receives from the garden. A true win-win strategy. Close cropping demands healthy soil.
I have planted greens close together and it worked, no weeds and plenty of leaves for salads and so on. Also, peas and beans have provided a superior yield and reduced work when planted closer together than suggested.
Close cropping is a great planting method for gardeners with little space, a desire for a good yield and no time to weed.
Now this next method requires a bit of time at the beginning but can save much effort once the garden is planted. I have discussed it before, the no-till garden. Simply, do not dig or till the garden site, use successive layers of newspaper or cardboard, straw and mulch to create the garden bed. If you build this no-till bed high enough it can be placed just about anywhere, more next week.
If this method interests you start saving newspapers now, depending upon the size of the garden you will need a good stack of paper to get the job done.

The last method is one I have only tried once and am eager to do again. Hügelkultur or mound culture involves digging a pit then filling the bottom with logs, gradually adding smaller branches, compost and then soil until the desired height is reached.

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