Weeding is a great way to spend time outdoors, get a little exercise and be productive in your garden. But when weeds proliferate, and you’re tired of spending countless hours in a seemingly endless endeavor, it’s tempting to grab the strongest chemical weed killer on the market and go to war. Even so, you should really reconsider before doing this. All those chemicals are terrible for the long-term health of your soil, your garden and the environment.
Instead, fight weed growth the organic way. The following gardening tips will help you win the battle against weeds in your Colorado garden without doing any further harm to your surrounding environment.
Get to know your weeds. The best way to fight weeds is know what you’re battling. Use a field guide to identify new growth, so you can plan the best route to eradication. You’ll be able to deal with everything from shallow-rooted annuals to deep-rooted perennials.
Prevention is the next step. Once you know which weeds you may be up against, preventing them from seeding is the next step to starting your organic weed control campaign. Try:
- Using a broad fork. Rototilling brings deeply buried seeds up to the surface to germinate. A broad fork, rather than digging or tilling, loosens the soil without unearthing as many pesky seeds.
- Waiting. Once your beds are prepared, wait three to four days so you can remove the weeds that germinate before planting.
- Mulching. Use a seed-free straw or a thick layer of mulch around seedlings to block remaining weed seeds from sunlight.
Remove them with roots intact. Deep-rooted weeds should be removed with their roots intact. Wait for a rain shower or after a good soaking so the soil is moist enough, then pull them up by the base. Don’t yank them or you risk breakage. Without any roots/runners left underground, they can’t come back.
Dig ‘em out. For particular tenacious weeds, be prepared to dig. It may take a few sessions to remove the entirety of the weed’s roots and runners.
Plant densely. Let your own native and drought tolerant landscape choke weeds out rather than the other way around.