Controlling Vegetable Weeds

Nothing is certain in life except taxes, death, and weeds! Controlling vegetable weeds can cause gardeners more aggravation than any other garden pest. A weed population competes against the plants we want to grow, stealing their light, water, and nutrients. Weeds can harbor insects and diseases that attack vegetable plants, making it important to maintain a healthy, weed-free, productive garden.

Organic Weed Control

It pays to know what weeds are growing in the garden before planning your attack with organic weed control. Ever since the Garden of Eden, gardeners have argued over just which plants are weeds.

As one man’s shack is another’s castle; one gardener’s weed is another’s flower. There are a few species that nearly everyone agrees are weeds such as poison ivy. A weed is any plant growing where you do not want it.

Vegetable gardens are prime sites for weeds since there is usually lots of space for them to grow between plants. Use mulches, hoeing, or hand-pulling as organic weed control to minimize seedlings and eliminate mature weeds.

Smothering Weeds

Planting a smother crop is a way of controlling vegetable weeds usingorganic weed control. Smother crops such as winter rye and buckwheat are plants that grow well when crowded. By being grown so close together, the weeds are smothered. The smother crop is planted either before or after the vegetable-growing season. For example, plant winter wheat in the fall and turn it under 2-4 weeks before planting vegetables.

Handling Problem Areas

Weeds can especially pose a threat at the edges of the vegetable garden. To keep the lawn from encroaching, use a barrier such as an edging strip that gives 2 to 3 inches of protection above and below the ground. A flat, mowing strip made of paving stones or bricks along the edge of the garden may also help so you can trim right up to the edges.

If your vegetable garden backs up to a fenced area, avoid planting right against the fencing. This may be difficult since fences are ideal supports for climbing crops like cucumbers. In which case, apply mulch like black plastic along the fence line to create an organic weed control barrier.Check the problem areas regularly for invading weeds to get a handle on any that appear uninvited!

Weed Killer Application Tips

When it comes to controlling vegetable weeds, the good news is that you can start your garden over each year to keep weeds from invading and taking over. Perennial weeds are less common in vegetable gardens because the soil is usually turned each year.

Here are a few weed killer application tips for controlling vegetable weeds organically:

* It is easier to pull weed seedlings from moist soil.

* An edging strip is a good way to keep your lawn grasses from creeping into the vegetable plantings.

* Hoeing is easiest when weeds are still small and tender.

* Hand-digging is useful for controlling vegetable weeds that are deep-rooted.

* If your vegetable garden is planted by a fence, mulch along the base of the fence to deter weeds from creeping over the line.

A tidy, well-maintained weed-free vegetable garden is a pleasure to look at as well as a treat to eat from! To produce a bountiful harvest, your plants need all the water, sunlight, and nutrients they can store. Be diligent about controlling vegetable weeds so your crops are not competing with greedy weeds for their required nourishment.