There are many organic ways to suppress weeds in your garden. For the most part, preventing weeds can be easier than managing them when fully grown.
- Mulch: Keep your soil covered with mulch to prevent weed seeds from germinating. Spread a two-inch layer of organic mulch at the beginning of growing season and keep replenishing it throughout. For more weed protection, you can put sheets of newspaper or cardboard under the mulch.
- Use Sharp Hoe: A great tool to kill weed seedlings is the use of a hoe. There are many types of hoes that will get the job done, but my favorite is the stirrup hoe. The stirrup hoe does not push around as much soil as a traditional hoe so there is less chance of burying smaller plants.
- Pull by Hand: Pulling a few weeds every day or so keeps them from getting out of control. It’s easier when the soil is moist so try to weed after a rainstorm or watering. This is the best way to ensure the weed will not come back because you also will remove the root. Large tap roots have enough energy to send up new shoots. Regular weeding also means you’ll be able to spot potential problems in your garden before they start.
By incorporating some of these tips, you will be able to keep your garden looking beautiful all year round without the use of toxic sprays that are harmful to the environment. Learn more from Laura Weller, a plant specialist at Rodale Institute, featured in our Healthy Garden Series.