Controlling Weeds Simply
Land O' Mercy, where'd that weedy mess come from?!!!
Gardening and controlling weeds, they go hand in hand, don't they?
Do you ever look around wistfully in early spring, dreaming of the beauty
that will come from your gardening efforts this year? As you plan your
next vegetable or flowers bed, start those seeds you ordered back in
January, or get busy on a new project in the yard, controlling weeds is
really the last thing on your mind.
Then one day you walk outside and the garden is towering over your head, the
yard has "poofed" out from weeds you declare weren't there yesterday
and it becomes a battle to the bitter end. Does this make us bad
I know, I know, I look at all those beautiful magazines that adorn the
gardening center checkouts too. Do these garden owners ever worry about
controlling weeds? Everything is always in it's place, never a weed to
be found. Even the hoe looks like it's rarely used, just propped
artfully for the photographer against a shabby chic wheelbarrow. They
usually throw in some outrageously gorgeous vegetables in a perfectly
shaped basket just to make it look like Mr. McGregor will be right back
to tend his garden after he catches that pesky Peter Rabbit. Or maybe
he's off secretly weeding...
Controlling Weeds Naturally and Organically on the farm
The first method is simple. Mostly we just pull them, roots & all.
Try to get it pulled before it goes to seed, and compost it if it hasn't
set seed yet.
Never compost weeds with pests, seeds, or diseases. The heat from the compost
doesn't always destroy these. It's not worth the chance.
WARNING, Gardening Guru plug ahead...
Ed's favorite weeding tool is a collinear hoe. It's a little scrap of metal,
kind of like a thin blade on a long handle. He found this jewel in one
of Eliot Coleman's books. It works terrific if you stay on top of the
early weeding. You can find these at
Unfortunately, around here we're bound to find somewhere that we just ran out of time
for controlling weeds. Weeding gets serious then and we revert back to
chopping out huge clumps of green stuff with more conventional tools
like shovels, pick axes, and bush blades (I'd add a backhoe here too,
but we don't have one).
Our daughters call these "honkin' big weeds", and they've ripped their fair
share of forgotten weed crops from the ground. But dear daughters, we
stayed organic and natural, weeding the healthy way! And we got
Yesterday's News is Today's Weed Control
Newspaper also has a place here on the farm. Wonderful controlling weeds tool. We
collect any that don't have colored ink or slick sales papers, put
several pages thick into a tub of water and spread on the garden
pathways, then cover them with a good thick layer of mulch. Pretty and
effective weed control, organic and natural, mostly just simple.
It beats any landscape cloth we've ever used, cheaper, and rots pretty
slowly. We've also tried old carpets and plastic. Nothing works as well
in pathways or garden beds for controlling weeds as newspaper. You just
cut a hole where you want the plant to be plopped. Also helps the mulch
to conserve moisture. By next season you can add another layer by
raking away the top mulch, repeat the process.
Pretty simple,EASY weed control, and FREE! We like free... everyone has
newspapers they'd like to see disappear. We pick ours up out of the
recycling dumpster if we need more.
Sing it with me now..."Poison Ivy-y,y,y,y, poison ivy, y,y,y,y..."
We sing the "Poison Ivy" song recorded in 1959 by The Coasters, all year
long, because it's one of those weeds that is always around.With our
efforts to clear wild forest space for safe tent camping sites, we've
learned how to effectively control the dreaded monster weed, poison
ivy. No, we don't use Round Up, remember we garden naturally and
organically. We pull each vine by hand. Large 20 gallon bucketfuls get
stuffed with this lovely weed, loaded on a trailer and taken to our
A serious word of warning...
Burning this weed can be as dangerous as getting the poison oil on your skin.
We always burn on a windless day, stand away from the pile as the oil
will be released into the smoke. We're pulling huge vines the size of
my strong husband's arm out of the trees. You don't want to be anywhere
near something like that while it's burning!
Weeds, Weeds, Weeds! Don't look too close, instead, enjoy these pink dogwoods
on the farm!
Just wait, you'll see up close and personal the result of weed control at
it's best and worst here on the farm. We're NOT one of those magazines,
Good news for the Weary Weeder...
It should be encouraging that every time you pull a weed by the roots
(before it goes to seed), you're controlling weeds the best way. You're
also pulling minerals from deeper soil to the surface where the
shallower-rooted plants can utilize them.
We try to keep from disturbing the soil in our garden beds to a minimum
so we don't bring new seeds to the surface where they will germinate.
Pulling weeds gives us the above benefit without tilling.
Eventually, with weeding diligence and good smother techniques (like with mulch and
newspaper) you will begin to see less need for controlling weeds. Now
isn't that good news?
If you want to see the simple way we deal with garden pests click
Organic Pest Control
Or perhaps visit our
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