The Q&A Archives: WEEDS

Question: How do I get the weeds to stop growing in my new vegetable garden. If it takes something you sell at Home Depot, can you please give me all the info about it. I dont want anything that will be harmful to where we cant eat what we grew.


Answer: Your best course of action is to knock down any weeds in your veggie garden and then cover the bare soil with a mulch material. Mulches can be used to prevent weed germination and growth, and ultimately reduce time and labor required to remove weeds. Mulches fall into two categories -- organic mulches are derived from plant material and decompose naturally in the soil, and inorganic mulches which do not decompose and therefore must be removed from the soil after serving to increase soil moisture retention, to enhance soil warming, and to reduce weeds.

Some of the most commonly used organic mulching materials are manures, bark chips, ground corncobs, sawdust, grass clippings, leaves, newspapers (shredded or in layers), and straw. Organic mulches allow some flexibility in fertilizing and watering since they can be raked back from the plants. They should normally be applied uniformly three to four inches deep around the base of the vegetable plant.

Black plastic is the most frequently used inorganic mulch. Clear plastic is not recommended because it does not exclude the light that weed seeds need to germinate. Gardeners should make sure there is adequate moisture in the soil before any mulch is applied, especially plastic films. It is also necessary to apply most of the fertilizer required by the plants before the plastic is installed. There are also several durable weed fabrics that are very effective in weed suppression. They are capable of lasting up to 20 years or more when covered with soil.

Hope you have a bountiful harvest!

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