Friday, 26 September 2014

Weeds are the bane of every gardener. It’s a stone cold fact. Gardens and weeds – you cannot have one without the other. It is no different for the organic gardener although the approach and some of the things you will use as an organic gardener to tackle your weeds is different to the traditional gardener as you will be using the natural twin attack of compost and mulch.
There is no escaping basic weed control however. You can get in to the routine of this by keeping an eye on your garden regularly and using a small hoe to cut out any small weeds you see appearing before they can grow to do any real damage. Your organic garden will have the sweet, naturally developed soil you have cultivated yourself which can make the chore easier. Do this thoroughly before applying any mulch.
When anything you have planted in your garden gets a firm hold you might think about putting down to have the effect of holding in any moisture and helping to keep weeds at bay by starving them of light. As you are gardening organically use material from natural sources. For example composted down grass cuttings or chopped leaves. This will have the added benefit of nourishing the soil as the natural mulch decomposes.

If any weeds do manage to struggle through your layer of organic mulch it is likely that they won’t have got too much in the way of roots behind them and you may be able to nip them out of the soil fairly easily.
If mulching isn’t practical for you then a natural alternative to protect your organic gardening principles is to use newspaper as a ground cover which will decompose naturally. Just put down four or five layers between your plants and cover with a thin covering of soil to weight it down. This has the same effect as mulching and the weeds will be starved of light and find it very difficult to grow through.
Even though the natural weed control measure we have explored above should help keep the darned things down you will not get rid of weed completely. So allied with your organic measures you will still have to undertake some traditional weed control to keep your garden in tip-top shape.
This is where your friend the hoe comes to your aid again. Use it to chop off any stubborn weeds from their roots just below the surface of the soil and be sure to collect the chopped off weeds and dispose of them. Do not leave them in your garden or you will be seeing them again.
Hoeing and pulling up weeds is unfortunately manual labor and no fun. Though the satisfaction of seeing your healthy, thriving and well kept organic garden and all you grow in it will make it worthwhile. It is simply part of weed control to back up the organic mulching and composting techniques you will also use.


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