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Natural Weed Control Methods for the Home Garden


One of the most defeating events for a new gardener is when our carefully planted garden beds become overwhelmed with weeds, seemingly overnight. Using a combination of natural weed control methods creates a low-maintenance, weed-free garden with little time and effort.

What Works for Weed Control

Lasagna gardening

I am a big believer in lasagna gardening and my 3000 sq. feet of garden space is developed and maintained with this system. No expensive, heavy or difficult to handle equipment is required to create beautiful, healthy garden soil. Add layers of paper, compost and mulch to keep weed seeds suffocated while feeding the soil.

Create a weeding schedule

There will always be some weeds in any space you cultivate, so create a weeding schedule and make it a family event! I like to use my evening garden walks after dinner to pull a few weeds. With the whole family in tow, you can keep your garden weed-free in just a few minutes a week.

Mulching

I use straw to mulch around my crops. This shades the soil, keeping sun-loving weeds at bay while suffocating any potential sprouts.

Cover crops

Bare soil is a weed-magnet. In areas without active crops, plant cover crops (buckwheat and oats are my favorite). They keep the soil microbes active, while stifling out weeds. For extensive information on using cover crops in the home garden, my book "How to Use Cover Crops in the Home Garden" is available on Amazon.

What Doesn't Work for Weed Control

Tilling

Tilling creates a flourish of fertility when the soil is loosened. People love it for their crops, but it also creates the perfect environment for weeds. Lasagna gardening prepares the soil better for long-term growth while killing weeds.

Weed barrier fabric

More than once I have had to remove weed barrier fabric left by a previous homeowner. Weeds can and will grow through this fabric making the process of preparing the bed almost impossible. A few layers of newspaper added around plants and topped with mulch works better than weed barrier, is free, and decomposes to feed the soil.

Chemicals

Since I’m an organic gardener, you know I have to put this on my list. I simply cannot condone anything added to the soil which can potentially make its way to my family’s water supply. Not only are these chemicals bad for our environment and health, they are indiscriminate. They will kill your roses along with weeds and when sprayed on a windy day, can travel and potentially damage your neighbors plants. With the weed control methods explained above, there’s simply no need for chemicals in the garden.


Use natural weed control methods in the home garden to make garden chores easier, create a healthy soil environment and prevent future weeds.


What is the biggest weed in your garden?



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The Restoration Garden by Tiffany Selvey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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