It is no secret that there is a lot to learn about growing your very own vegetables in your own garden. While it requires a lot of time and work to prepare and maintain your garden, the fresh homegrown taste of the fruits and vegetables will be well worth it. One of the tasks that really eats up a lot of your time in your garden will be weeding. And I hate to admit it but this is one reason I am such a poor gardener, well, at least one that could do better, I suppose. Pulling weeds is not my thing BUT it is so very important for the health and growth of your beloved little plants. So as you rush out and get your garden ready this year, here are some tips to help guide you in your newest adventure; gardening.
Here is the newbie’s guide to weeding your garden.
Pinch and Pull
You may think that weeding is a no brainer, but there actually is a right and a wrong way to weed your garden. You may be tempted to grab the weed and simply yank it out. More times than not, pulling your weeds in that manner will leave behind the roots, causing them to grow back. The correct way to pull weeds is to pinch them with your fingers, near where the base emerges from the soil. Then firmly, yet gently, pull up on the weed, making sure to leave the roots intact. It that doesn’t work immediately, you can also loosen the dirt around the weed and dig a bit deeper to grasp the offending root. This also helps with getting those dreaded tap roots out of the garden too. A good word of advice, gloves are your friend if you have those terrible weeds that have prickly spines on them. It makes it easier to grab the weeds if you are wearing your thorn-proof gloves when you weed.
Weed When the Soil is Wet
Another trick to helping make sure that you are able to pull the weed with its roots is to make sure that you weed your garden when the soil is wet. After a rain is the perfect time, however sometimes Mother Nature is not always on our side. If you have not had rain in awhile, not to worry. Simply use your garden hose to spray down your garden. Doing so will help soften the soil, making it easier for the roots to come up out of the ground. And from experience (the times I do make the effort to pull weeds, that is) this is by far a brilliant idea and works like a dream. The little roots slip right out of the ground and makes for easy and light work. Granted it can be a lot messier but nothing compared to yanking out dry roots.
Weed on a Weekly Basis
Keeping up with the weeds in your garden is absolutely necessary. The more often you weed, the easier it will be to keep up with them. Weeding your garden at least once a week is a general rule of thumb, however feel free to pull weeds as you see them. The more frequently you pull them, the more likely you will be able to rid your garden of them before they mature, and develop a good root system. This root system is determined to make it harder to get the weeds out whole. Once mature, the pesky weeds will produce seeds and multiply! And at this point, well, you might want to simply give up and that would never do with all of the hard work you’ve already put into your garden. So, get to pulling my friend!
Take action and prevent annoying weeds from popping up. Add a layer, about 2 inches thick, of mulch or straw to your soil to help keep the sunlight from reaching the ground. All plants, weeds included, need sunlight to thrive. Without much sunlight, weeds will not have much opportunity to grow. Be mindful that with this option you could (not always, but could) be offering up your garden to a plethora of other issues, like slugs that want to hide in the leaf litter or mulch. That’s for another post though!
This Garden Planner has a lot tracking sheets and journal pages for you to use to keep up with your garden. And if you are more of a reader than a journal or tracker, this book might be one to check out.
Okay, my friend, you are now ready to get rolling on your newest adventure, gardening! I want to remind you of this one thing, like ANYTHING else, your hard work will reap you amazing rewards! So keep at those pesky weeds and give your plants drinks often and give them space to breathe, without the weeds. Best of luck in your garden!
In His Grace,