How To Stop Weeds From Growing In Your Garden
Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or you’ve just bought your first seedling, you will need to be on constant alert to prevent weeds from taking over your garden. In fact, weeds can take over a healthy garden in only a matter of days.
There are plenty of ways to remove weeds from a garden, from hand pulling them to spreading herbicides. However, the best defense is a good offense. Preventing weeds from growing in the first place is the easiest way to protect your garden rather than having to spend your weekends out in the sun pulling up weeds.
Follow our 5 simple tips to stop weeds from growing in your garden.
1) Don’t Disturb The Soil Unnecessarily
One of the easiest ways to prevent weeds from growing in your garden is by leaving the soil alone. Doing nothing may seem counterintuitive, however, it is likely that your garden soil is already rife with dormant weed seeds. This is because weed seeds are unable to germinate when buried deep within the soil.
Disturbing the soil in your garden unnecessarily can cause the weed seeds to move towards the top of the soil, allowing them to receive the sunlight that they need to germinate. So, the less you disturb the soil, the better.
2) Apply Mulch Generously
Covering the soil in your garden with mulch can also help to prevent weed growth. This is because the mulch will keep the soil below cool and moist, while blocking the weed seeds from receiving the sunlight that they need to grow.
Additionally, some organic mulches make great homes for crickets, beetles, and other little critters that will seek out and eat the weed seeds in your garden.
When using mulch in your garden be sure to maintain it well as it will decompose over time, replenishing it when necessary to ensure that your mulch is about 5cm deep. It is also important to ensure that you don’t apply too much mulch as this can deprive the soil beneath of oxygen, stunting the growth of your plants.
3) Use Weed Mats
Weedmats, or landscape fabric, is a popular way to reduce weed growth. The weedmat is essentially a cover for your garden soil, made of plastic or cloth, that helps to suppress weed growth.
This is an effective, environmentally friendly way to promote the healthy growth of your garden, as the weed mat will still allow water to penetrate through to the soil while preventing weeds from reaching the surface.
4) Inspect New Potted Plants
Weed seeds can be deposited into your garden by birds, brought in by the wind, or even on the bottom of a pet’s paw. Considering the many ways weed seeds can be introduced into your garden already, you don’t want to bring them in yourself. To avoid introducing new weed seeds into your garden it’s important to check any new potted plants you buy and remove any weeds (right down to the roots) that may be growing in the soil.
5) Pre Emergent Herbicides
Herbicides are often used to kill weeds that have already germinated. However, there is a special type of herbicide (pre emergent herbicide) that can be used to prevent weeds from growing in the first place.
Pre emergent herbicides are designed to stunt the growth of any weed seeds already in your garden without killing your prized plants. In order for the herbicide to be most effective it should be applied approximately 3 weeks prior to the time that weeds tend to sprout in your garden.