We all dream of a weed-free garden, but the reality is, it's quite tricky to prevent weeds from growing in the first place. A lot of the time, we don't know that weeds are there until they rear their ugly heads and make their presence known. That being said, there are a few things you can do to help prevent weeds from growing.
Action before establishment
One of the easiest ways to prevent weeds from growing is to take action before an established weed network develops. When weeds are given time to grow, they will burrow their roots deep into the ground. This growing network will cause new weeds to pop up all over your garden in no time at all!
There's an old saying: When's the best time to pull up a weed? Yesterday. When's the second best time? Now! Taking note of this principle is a sure fire way to prevent weeds from establishing, long-term. If you see a weed starting to sprout, putt it up and treat it immediately. This is, unfortunately, an ongoing garden chore, but staying on the ball and taking action before weeds have the chance to establish will pay dividends in the long run.
Turnover soil carefully
There are a number of reasons why you might need to turn over the soil in your garden, but to prevent weeds from growing, you need to do it carefully. Turning over the soil is great for reducing compaction, and gives you opportunity to prep the soil for new plants. However, turning over the soil can promote the growth of new weeds that have been laid dormant in the ground for a while.
To prevent this, you should turn over the minimum amount of soil you need. Digging down into the ground necessarily deep increases the chances of you turning over weeds. In addition, you should remove any unusual plant material, bulbs or seeds that you find in the soil. This will give your new plants the best chance of growing without competition from weeds.
Apply a mulch layer
A great way to prevent weeds from growing in the first place is to smother them with a layer or organic mulch. Mulch has a number of benefits for your garden:
- It adds new nutrients to the soil
- It helps the soil retain moisure
- It smothers weeds that are trying to grow
We always recommend that you use an organic mulch rather than an artificial mulch (like tarpaulin or plastic). These manmade materials will do good job of smothering weeds, but they don't provide any other benefits for your soil. What's worse, they'll take years and years to decompose, and might even outlive you, meaning you're contributing to an already prevalent plastic problem!
Water where necessary
One the main reasons that weeds start to grow in unpleasant places is because gardeners create the perfect conditions for them. Sunny, open spaces in the garden that have been freshly watered are a haven for garden weeds to grow. When you're watering your garden, it's best to water where it's necessary and leave the bare patches of soil dry. This will discourage weeds from growing in those areas.
Get the professionals to help!
It's true that there's no magic solution to prevent weeds from growing, and despite your best efforts, you may end up with a garden weed problem on your hands! Don't worry though, there are professionals who can help with just about any garden weed problem you're facing.
Here at Taylor Total Weed Control, we have years of experience dealing with everything from common garden weeds to invasive species like Japanese knotweed. If you have been unsuccessful in preventing weeds from growing in the first place, we're happy to help.
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