Inside: Have the weeds taken over your garden? Here are some simple solutions for taming the jungle.
You meant to get to it. Weeding the garden, I mean. But your cousin Sally’s wedding took up one whole weekend, and Billy’s little league game used up a perfectly good Friday evening. Then you promised to bring chicken divan for the church potluck. So you pencil in Saturday for some much-needed weed pulling, and here come the rains–buckets and buckets of the stuff. When you finally do get out to the garden, you are overwhelmed, to say the least. How will you ever tame the jungle?
Well, my gardening compadre, I have a few ideas. Let me share.
Newspaper is your friend.
Newspaper is your friend, followed closely by mulch in the form of straw, grass clippings, leaves, or spent hay. You could even use the weeds (without seeds) as a mulch–though you’d have to pull them first, and I’m all about simple here.
The first thing I do is trample down the weeds by walking all over them. Then I apply a thick layer of newspaper–wetting it makes it easier to stay in place. Cover the paper with your mulch. Smothering the weeds is one of the easiest and quickest ways to get rid of them.
You could also use black plastic or some kind of landscaping material, but you’d need to pull it up in the fall. The good thing about the newspaper is that it’s biodegradable. And plentiful. Cardboard also works well.
Weed eaters, to help work through your aggression.
Call it therapy. Your weed eater at the ready, plow through a tall stand of weeds and you just feel better. But, please, use responsibly. Avoid killing your tomatoes. A plant is a terrible thing to waste!
For years I bugged Hubs for a weed eater, and he kept directing me to the tool shed where he kept this huge gas-powered monstrosity that, when he used it, gave him a backache for days. It was heavy and cumbersome, and I didn’t want any part of that. I wanted one of those simple kind I saw advertised on TV, to which he replied, “They don’t work on our kind of weeds.” So one approaching Mother’s Day I did my research and purchased a Black & Decker and haven’t looked back. While the weed eater cost a nice chunk of change, it helped tremendously in taking away the overwhelm–as well as the discouragement–from feeling like I’d never catch up on all the weeding. I’d even say it restored my joy of gardening.
The drawback for some will be having to repeat the process, but weeds will keep showing up, anyway. Or maybe I just like to work through my angst that way. You should see me wield a corn knife.
Old-fashioned weed pulling–with a plan.
I should mention here that I really don’t mind pulling weeds by hand. Really. I do this often. I’ve made my peace with weeds and tolerate them to a certain extent. I even view them as beneficial–in my compost pile and now in my homemade fertilizer weed tea. (More on the fertilizer next week.)The part I don’t like is when I’m faced with a jungle and feel like I’ll never get ahead of it. So I’ve got a method that I’m currently using in my strawberry bed. I find the most weedy place in the patch and work there for a few minutes. When I stand back and admire my work, I see progress.
But maybe that would overwhelm you. Then you could do the opposite–start with where the weeds are thinnest and quickly move from easy spot to easy spot. Either method, you’ll get there.
And if not, there’s always the weed eater!
How do you conquer your weed issues–or not? Tell us about it in the comments.
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