The Q&A Archives: Weeds

Question: I am a student so I find it hard to weed my garden. It might get done once a week if I am lucky. Is there a way that I can control weeds gone without hurting my plants?

Answer: Although weeding will always be a part of maintaining a garden, there are things you can do to make the job easier.<br>Here are some suggestions:<br><br>1. Place some kind of covering in the rows, so at least you don t have to weed those. In my garden, Imake raised beds (simply mounding up the soil about 6 inches in wide rows). Last year, I tried laying down newspaper between the rows, and covering it with straw mulch. It really kept the weeds down! You could also use landscape fabric, or just a thickerlayer of mulch. I also do this around the perimeter of the garden, to keep the grass from marching on in.<br><br>2. I usually plant seeds--especially slow-germinating ones like carrots--in rows, rather than scattering them over the bed. That way, I can gently cultivate between the rows without damaging seedlings. I still have to weed the rows, though.<br><br>3. Once plants are up and growing well, I mulch between plants with grass clippings I rake up from the lawn.<br><br>4. For heat-loving crops like tomatoes and peppers, I cover the entire raised bed with black plastic sheeting. I then cut holes in the plastic, and plant my seedlings. (You could also use landscape fabric here too.) Just remember that the plastic doesn t let water in, so you have to be very diligent about watering. <br><br>5. I try not to let weeds get out of hand and, especially, not to let them go to seed. But beyond that, I try not to worry too much. A few weeds, especially on a well-established garden, won t hurt anything.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>

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