How To – Controlling Weeds by Cultivating & Mulching

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    The best way to control weeds in your garden is without chemicals. This is especially true in vegetable gardens where you want to minimize the use of pesticides and rarely if ever use herbicides.

    The use of herbicides can actually cause serious harm to your soil and you could ingest it but if you are wondering why your tomatoes are not growing and you use roundup anywhere near your beds that could be the problem because they are very sensitive to that chemical.

    There are two basic types of weeds.

    Annual weeds germinate in the spring and flower in the summer or fall this type is your grass varieties such as crabgrass, goosegrass and giant foxtail. Broadleaf weeds include smooth pigweed, common lambsquarters, purslane, galinsoga, common ragweed and tall morningglory.

    When trying to remove these grasses and weeds it is important to remove the full plant and not leave the stems. Many weeds in this variety can propagate from the stem coming in contact with soil so if you turn them under your problem will remain.

    Perennial Weeds include chickweed, yellow nutsedge, bermuda grassĀ  and bluegrass.Tilling the garden may spread these weeds by fragmenting and moving root pieces. Each of the root pieces may develop into a complete plant.

    Mulches

    Mulches can be divided into two groups Organic Mulch such as wood chips and Inorganic Mulch such as gravel.

    Organic:

    Straw
    Peanut hulls
    Chopped cornstalks
    Ground corncobs
    Pine needles
    Broomsedge
    Sudangrass
    Grass clippings
    Leaf mold
    Compost
    Newspapers
    Sawdust
    Bark

    Synthetic:

    Plastic (polyethylene)
    Wax-coated paper
    Aluminum foil
    Kraft paper-polyethylene combination

    Using Mulch and Cultivation in combination to Control Weeds

    It is best to use a combination of cultivation and mulch to control any soil that you expect to plant in the near future.

    You should stay away from herbicides because they can ruin your tomato plants causing small fruits and slow initial growth. Even very small amounts of herbicide such as 2,4-D or roundup can basically ruin your soil for vegetable gardening.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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