Weeds Galore

I have taken to weeding as a mental health strategy; it is a perfect activity for me to mull over my thoughts and sort things out. I try and make it a regular activity so both me and the garden benefit and often leave feeling our session has been the most productive part of my day.

That being said, not everyone has the liberty to spend hours of weeding a week and the weeds can often get out of hand before we know it. Having too many weeds can compromise accessible nutrients for your plants, host harmful insects or disease and restrict the air flow throughout your garden.

A satisfied Alison with some jumbo dandelions!

Here are a few key points to keep in mind when trying to keep the weeds under control.

  1. Stop weeds early: This is sometimes easier said than done, but yank and dig them out as soon as you can. Try and remove as much of the plant as possible, as some will grow back from remaining roots. Once out of the soil, make sure to let the roots bake in the sun to kill them, then toss them in the compost pile.
  2. Keep soil covered: Mulch, mulch, mulch! If your soil is covered, weeds will have a hard time growing there. Mulch options are endless. You can cover your soil with  straw, compost, grass clippings, leaves, pine needles or boughs, sawdust and so on. Mulching is also a really great gardening practice to help with water conservation as well as a great way to improve soil structure. Another way to keep soil covered is planting green manures, or cover crops. These crops not only cover the areas in which weeds like to grow, but many fix nitrogen and enhance the structure and integrity of the soil. Some green manures include clover, alfalfa, buckwheat and rye.
  3. Do not let weeds go to seed: This is important! Seeds mean more weeds. Remove flowers and seeds from plant if you  cannot remove the whole thing. Keep as many seeds as possible out of your compost pile.
  4. Build up your soil: Many weeds flourish in marginal soil. Building up the soil organically to be well balanced and fertile will create resilience within the soil that can fend off weeds.
  5. Kill weeds before you plant a crop: You may as well start off without any. Keeping your seedlings, transplants or directly sown plants away from weeds in the early days will give them a better chance competing against them later on in the game.

Some of the Common Culprits

Lamb’s Quarters

Creeping Buttercup

Vetch

Quack Grass

Shepherd’s Purse

Mouse Eared Chickweed

Colt’s foot

Dandelion

Broad Leaved Plantain

Purselane

Sheep’s Sorrel

Bull Thistle

Yarrow

Red Clover

Ox Eye Daisy

Golden Rod

Queen Anne’s Lace/ Wild Carrot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It would be great to expand this post with your help! Have we missed anything? Leave a comment with your weed stories and tips!

Written by: Mhari Lamarque

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4 thoughts on “Weeds Galore

  1. It’s perhaps true that a weed is any plant you don’t want growing in your garden. However, many of these show above are not that invasive, such as the daisy, clover, plantain and Queen Anne’s Lace. Others, such as lambs’ quarters, sheep sorrel, dandelions and clover are edible and easily added to salads and other dishes. People need to know the greater wealth of plants we have around us, and stop looking at them as enemies. Yesterday I saw an elderly man in front of his house at the roadside, spraying the weeds. In a couple of days these would have grown (with the rain) into beautifully flowering towers, attracting birds, bees and butterflies.

  2. I absolutely agree! Thanks for the comments! I’m currently working on a follow-up post to try and reveal the positive side of weeds; they can provide many services for our gardens and surrounding wildlife! Stay tuned!

  3. Pingback: Dealing with Weeds « Gardora.net

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