The Q&A Archives: Weeds

Question: What is the best solution to kill weeds that grow constantly on my flowerbed? It has been really annoying.

Answer: Rosalinda,

I like to use a newspaper mulch covered with leaves of other organic materials. Occasionally I will use a wiper type applicator to apply glyphosate to the weeds only so I don't get it on the desirable plants.

Here's how you do the newspaper method. Begin by wetting the weeds with a sprinkler. This will cause them to lay down a bit and will give the soil a good soaking. Next lay newspaper about 4-6 sheets thick. Cover the entire soil surface with paper, overlapping the edges a little and placing the paper right up against the stems of your vegetables, flowers and shrubs to completely shade the surface.

Wet the papers as you lay sections to keep them from blowing away. Next, cover the newspaper with leaves, compost, hay or another aesthetically appealing mulch. Then wait! No plant can live without light. Weeds under the paper will die. In a few months the paper will be decomposed. In the meantime, pull any weeds that peek out of a hole in the paper.

When planting a new area before the weeds emerge, lay the paper and leaves on the bed and later poke holes for transplants or larger seeds. When smaller seeds are used or a row is planted, you can adjust the procedure by leaving a narrow strip of soil (1 to 2 inches) uncovered for later planting.

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