Garden Weeds: An Optimistic Perspective
Cover crops are an important tool for farmers. By covering the soil, these crops offer a protective layer to prevent soil erosion by the wind and rain. The plants’ roots bind and stabilize the soil particles. The roots also prevent the soil from getting compacted, allowing water and air flow under the surface. On top of all of that, cover crops add organic matter to the soil. They replenish soil nutrients to effectively feed whatever grows there next. Besides farmers, Mother Nature is also a big fan of cover crops – though frustratingly for many gardeners, she tends to use garden weeds to fill the bare gaps in her soil.
It’s All About Perspective!
To be fair, though, a weed is any plant growing where it’s not wanted. That means the same rosebush that would be prized in a garden would be cursed in a wheat field.
Of course, if you’re the one who has to deal with the weeds, this all might just seem like semantics. But by looking at weeds as a cover crop, there are some valuable insights that will help you deal with them!
It’s important to remember that nature hates a vacuum. If there’s space in the soil, weeds will take root. Many plants commonly regarded as weeds – like thistles, flatweed and dandelion – have airborne seeds. While you can’t really prevent them from travelling to your property, you can try to make sure there isn’t a hospitable space available for them to land. That means making sure to overseed your lawn so your turf is growing healthy and thick. A strong, intertwined root system doesn’t easily allow for new plants to grow. If your lawn is growing healthy and strong, weeds won’t be able to take hold!
Mulch is a Great Solution to Garden Weeds!
The same principle applies in your garden beds! You can help prevent garden weeds from taking root by applying about 2 to 4 inches of mulch. This amount of mulch is a happy medium. If you put too much on, water won’t be able to penetrate to the soil, and the plants you want to grow will have a hard time thriving. Alternately, if your layer of mulch is too thin, weeds will still be able to get through.
The other thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to weeds, you need to remove them early in their development and often. Weeds can grow very big, very fast and they spread quickly, too. While weeding is often low on the list of favourite tasks around the garden, it’s an important one to stay on top of.
If you’re having difficulty keeping up with the weeds in your lawn or garden, you may also want to consider using some natural weed killers. Just remember to follow all of the rules and regulations regarding weed killers where you live. Keep in mind that weeds are just plants where you don’t want them. You don’t want to accidentally kill the plants you want while in the process of trying to eliminate the ones you don’t.