The Art of Weeding

April 19, 2016

 

Believe it or not, weeding is an art.

 

Timing is everything when it comes to weeding. Pulling weeds before they make seeds and reproduce is crucial to successfully weeding your garden. Spring is the ideal time for major weeding projects as the ground is still soft and the weeds have not yet reproduced.

 

Many weeds are actually good for the garden and it is never bad to have a diversity of plants around – the more diverse the plant cover in your garden, the more diverse and resilient a living system of soil microorganisms and animals you will encourage.

 

There are, however, a few primary concerns when it comes to weeds:

 

1. Some weeds are invasive and can actually take over the garden if left unchecked.

2. Weeds might not die when you pull them, so make sure to get the plant out from the root.

3. The third concern is that some weeds compete for nutrients, water and sunlight with our intended plants in the garden.

 

Procedure:

 

1. Identify the weeding priorities in the garden, from highest to lowest priority.

2. Focus on pulling out one to three types of weeds at a time.

3. If you are weeding within a garden bed that is already planted, consider using a small hand-weeding tool or working by hand without any tools at all. A garden hoe can also be useful in a larger bed that is already planted.

4. If you are working in an area of the garden that is not planted, a digging fork is the best tool for the job as you can use its tines to dig out the roots of the weeds.

 

This is an excerpt from Edible Gardening: 10 Essential Practices for Growing Your Own Food.

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