Keeping Weeds Away: How to Prevent Weeds From Returning
Pesky as they can be, weeds are a natural part of our gardening world, and they aren’t going anywhere, which makes it all the more frustrating when they creep up in our otherwise perfect flowerbeds again and again. The truth is, maintaining healthy, beautiful plants is a constant job often filled with the hard work of fighting weeds, but after hearing these tips and tricks, you’ll be a pro at managing your garden properly to keep weeds from coming back.
What You Should Know Before Treating Weeds
Before you can get rid of all your weeds, you first have to understand them. Yes, that’s right—the “know your enemy” cliché—but this tip is a powerful tool. Any person who gardens must come to terms with the fact that weeds are just like any other plant that grows under the sun. This means they can thrive under your watch just like the plants in your garden if you let them.
And just like any other plant, you can learn about them to help figure out useful things. The presence of weeds can often tell gardeners facts about their plants or soil if they pay enough attention. If you spot dandelions in your flowerbeds, for instance, it means the soil underneath is in need of aeration, and you could potentially leave them to help your soil flourish rather than picking them out right away, or you can pick off the flowers as they grow so the seeds don’t have the chance to spread around. So don’t be opposed to getting to know your enemies—in this case, there’s always a lot to learn. Once you’ve become more knowledgeable, then you can proceed to get rid of the weeds properly.
What Types of Weed Removal To Try
Hand pulling. This first method is the most common, as it’s easy enough for children to learn how to do: Grab it firmly by the root, and pull gently, but there are best and worst times to do it. There’s an old saying that goes, “Pull when wet, hoe when dry”, and it works wonders for weed control. The best time to hand-pull weeds is right after a good rain. The weed will be less likely to snap off and keep its stubborn roots in your garden and is more likely to come out intact while wet.
Use a two-in-one fertilizer. Kill two birds with one stone by using a weed-control fertilizer for your plants that guarantees to fight off the common weeds while feeding your lawn or garden. Though this may not kill off all the weeds, it is a good way to lay down the groundwork (literally) for your weeding routine.
DIY weed killers. This method is certainly the most creative, and you won’t even have to run to the store to start. Simple household items like bleach, baking soda, vinegar, or boiling water work great to get rid of weeds like the ones that grow in the cracks of your walkway.
How to Prevent Weeds and Future Tips
Do what you do best. Show your plants love by tending to them properly. Using fertilizer, regularly watering, and caring for your plants should always be the priority as opposed to fighting weeds first, as it promotes a healthy garden that can better fight off weeds.
Keep taller grass. For lawns, mowing higher than normal may seem strange at first, but it will keep your grass thick and tall enough that weed seeds would be less likely to reach your soil where they could sprout and continue to spread.
Keep your plants well-watered. Thirsty soil helps weeds thrive, as most tend to grow in dry areas. Watering your plants properly helps to strengthen your plants’ roots, and keep the soil moist enough that weeds won’t come back.
Pay attention to how you plant. The closer your plants are grouped together, the less room the weeds will have to grow. Again, any room you give them for sunlight to hit the soil is an opportunity you’re giving the seeds to flourish, just like your plants. Having a tightly-packed garden will do a great job of crowding them out.
Don’t disturb your soil. Weed seeds “sleep” and stay dormant the deeper they are in your soil, as they don’t have any light to germinate, the way the top two inches of your soil do. So try to keep your digging to a minimum.
Weed often to keep them at bay. It’s also best to become familiar with your garden, such as knowing when you need to water again to keep weeds out by the look of your plants, and treating the first signs you see as they come so you can really keep the weeds from coming back.