These 4 simple techniques can actually reduce your weed infestations in the home vegetable and flower garden. They’re not normally covered in gardening courses so I thought I’d pass them along as things I do some of the time and all of the time.
Minimize soil disturbance
There’s weed seed just sitting there below the germination level waiting for you to cultivate and bring it to the surface. It’s been dormant and as soon as you give it a bit of light, a bit of heat because it’s moved upwards in the soil – it’s going to germinate.
This is one reason I really like my mulched gardens. I know the seeds are there, they know I know they’re there – but we agree they can stay right where they are because I’ve got them buried.
Vary the plants you grow in those spaces.
Rotate between a grass-type plant (corn) and broad-leaf plant (lettuce) to bread weed cycles that tend to go along with specific plants. While this is most often given in farming systems, the advice holds true today for backyard gardeners. Break your growing pattern to break disease and weed cycles.
Reduce the seed bank.
Do NOT allow weeds to go to seed. Every plant you miss is a ton of work next year. It’s far easier to take a few extra minutes this year rather than go at them next year all over again. Yeah, I know – easier said than done – but…
Select larger seeds.
If you have a choice of seeds you’re going to sow – always sort and sow the largest. This can be tricky with small seed or uniform seed but with seed such as squash or corn, you can see differences in seed size in many varieties (particularly if you’re saving your own seed).
These four tips are simple ways to reduce weeds.