In gardening, we like to use the phrase that our loyal Geranium Rozanne is “growing like a weed!” And while that may indicate positive growth for our plants, the reality is that weeds always tend to outlast our beloved flowers much more than we’d like. Weeds can grow in just about any type of garden, and while it’s nice to see a sign of life, there is still the reality that those weeds have got to go.
Knowing how to weed your garden is important because if you don’t eradicate these surprise visitors from your plant’s soil, the weeds will compete for space, water and nutrients, taking them from your plants. And if you’re letting weeds drink everything, that’s not a very good way to conserve water in the garden! Plus, weeds just make your garden look a lot messier and unkempt.
Though weeding might not be the most fun aspect of gardening, it can be very rewarding once you learn how to do it correctly. Here’s how you can weed like a pro so you don’t have to shy away from going to town on those pesky weeds.
Know Thy Garden
The first step to weeding like a pro is to first get to know the plants and flowers that you want in your garden—especially if you’re just starting your garden. Then, it’s smart to do light research on the types of weeds that are common in your area and your type of garden. Once you learn what kind of weeds you’re dealing with, you can look into how to properly treat them.
We like using this handy online database for all weed-related woes.
No Root Left Behind
Remember that when you’re weeding, you can’t just pluck a few leaves and call it a day. To truly uproot the weeds in your garden, you’ve got to do just that—pull up all the roots! Any weed roots left behind will continue to grow in your garden, and you’ll just create more work for yourself later down the road. Be sure to grab the weed right from the root on the ground, and pull straight up. Weed thoroughly and smartly to keep your sanity intact.
Choose Your Tools Wisely
The tools you use when weeding mean a lot more than you might think at first. If you pick the wrong tools, you could end up damaging your plants or not properly getting rid of the weeds. This article gives the lowdown on hoes (would that be called a hoedown?): “Hoes with triangular blades are good for closely spaced rows and underneath plants. Scuffle or loop hoes are pushed and then pulled back over the soil, doing double-duty as they scrape.”
You can also use an old screwdriver to work stubborn weeds out of the cracks of your driveway or pavers.
Cover Your Ground
Weeds are notorious for moving into unused spaces. If you don’t space your plants properly or leave too much unused soil out in the open, weeds will find a way to put down roots in that nicely prepared soil you provided for them. To prevent this from happening, cover any unused soil with mulch or plant a ground cover at the end of the season to hold your real estate.
Time It Right
Lastly, you can make weeding a lot easier on yourself if you do it during the right moment. When soil is dry, weeds are pretty stubborn to leave their posts. Especially if you’re not a pro at pulling yet, you might accidentally leave a lot of roots behind if you weed when the soil is dry. The best time to weed is after it rains as they will be much easier to pull this way. If you’re experience a dry spell, though, don’t wait for Mother Nature to run her course—she could take too long. Instead, water your plants before you weed.
You will also want to make sure that you get to the weeds while they’re still small. Don’t let them put up their feet on the couch—or, better yet, don’t even give them the chance to take their shoes off!
Weeding might sound less-than-glamorous at first, but it’s a necessary part of gardening that’s a lot easier when you know how to do it right. When you’ve mastered the art of weeding, join Rozanne’s Inner Circle to get more must-have gardening tips.