The Q&A Archives: Weeds In Vegetable Garden

Question: I'm always fighting weeds growing up before my vegetables do. Handpulling is alot of work! Is there something I could spray on the weeds to kill them?

Answer: I'm always leery about using herbicide in an edible garden plot. Mulch is an excellent way to control weeds in the vegetable garden; it can also help keep the soil temperature moderate and conserve moisture. Another important benefit of using an organic mulch such as shredded bark or straw or even cardboard is that it will also feed the soil as it breaks down.

Other weed control strategies include lightly disturbing the soil early and often to kill weed seeds germinating or nearly germinating at the soil surface (deeper cultivation brings more seeds to the surface where they can then germinate); preventing existing weeds from setting seed thus preventing the next generation; and in some cases avoiding the use of horse manure unless it has been composted in a hot pile as it tends to be full of weed seeds.

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