Preventing an Annual Crop of Weeds
Weeds—oh how the home gardener hates these insidious pests. It seems like once they have been removed that they are always coming back. Further, it seems that there is never any way to prevent them from returning. Unfortunately, the last is indeed true—there is no way that you can prevent those weeds from returning. However, there are several ways to make it harder for the invaders to get a foothold, thereby making the problem more easily handled in the future. Follow these simple steps, and your battle will be half-won already.
- Removal. To ensure total weed removal, you need to totally and completely dig up the area that is infested. Basically this is to ensure that you do not miss a single weed, because if one is left behind, it will spread like—well, weeds. If the area is smaller, a simple hand trowel or hoe would be the best tool. Larger areas will require different, more appropriate tools.
- Prevention. Once the area has been cleared of the offending infestation you want to prepare the ground for future habitation of the desired plants, and at the same time make it more difficult for unwanted plants to grow. This can be done by ensuring that the future herb garden or flower bed is not left unplanted for a significant amount of time. If left uncovered, then any unwanted plant (i.e., weeds) will be able to move in. Cover the areas that are not planted with a minimum of three inches of mulch, bark chips, or similar substance. If the area is larger then you may want to first start by setting down a layer of plastic landscaping material that will then be covered by the bark chips or mulch.
- Maintenance. As time goes by, be sure that you keep your beloved garden weed free by making periodic checks. If you have followed the previous steps correctly, you should notice a significantly lowered amount of weeds in your garden. In the event that one does pop up, simply use a hand tool to remove the weed. If a layer of landscaping material was laid down, it is advisable to use a home herbicide such as Roundup, Weed-B-Gone, orWeedol2 to remove the weeds. This will prevent large holes from forming in the material, and more weeds from coming in later on.
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