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No garden is without its weeds.

~ Thomas Fuller ~

Weed Control

A weed is a plant out of place. That is, if one doesn't want it there, it's compost, no matter what plant it is. So goes the general definition for a weed.

I have a hard time time pulling the columbines and echinaceas from between the brick walk. Out of place - YES, a weed - to me - NO. In my garden, I am in a constant race with Mother Nature. I am frequently just a fraction of an inch behind her when it comes to filling empty spaces. So i carefully pull them up and replant them them in any empty spot.

Yikes, aren't you supposed to plant those only in the spring and fall? The final word from my garden is that anything can be planted any time as long as one makes the effort to provide nutrients and plenty of water until transplants get established.

But I am rambling, back to the subject of this newsletter.

Weed Control Products:

Your method of choice will depend on what type/size garden you have and how much time you will be able to devote to this never-ending task.

The wildlife-friendly yard and garden

Manually weed
Try you best to get the roots! Using a weed-eater or a tiller may spread seeds and encourage some varietes to grow back with increased vigor.

This is my favorite method! It appeals to both the lazy bone in my body and to the instant, attractive look it creates. I take this option to a very satisfying extreme, first I spread a thick layer of old newspapers and junk mail (given the use of soy based inks, I'm not overly concerned about toxicity from the papers) and then cover with mulch. The papers will decompose, hold down new weeds sprouts, help contain more moisture and best of all - not end up in the landfill.

Spray undesirables with vinegar solution
Spot-treat weeds with a spritz of vinegar and liquid detergent. My formula for this weed buster is to fill a spray bottle with undiluted vinegar and add 5 to 7 drops of liquid dishwashing soap. Spray the offending weeds, dousing the foliage and the crown -- the area at the base of the plant. Frequent use of this method, however, will result in your soil pH becoming too acidic, so use sparingly.


If you want to get rid of weeds with a minimum of effort another approach is the application of herbicides -- any agent that will inhibit plant growth. If you decide to use an herbicide, take time to read the label thoroughly and carefully as many of them not only kill weeds but also can be damaging to your landscape plants and to beneficial wildlife. Always read and follow the label instructions.


July in the Garden :

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