Fighting Weeds

Everyone has weeds. The questions are how do you minimize the number of weeds you have and also minimize the amount of time you spend fighting them.

I define weeds as plants which are not wanted in a particular location. Grass is fine in a lawn, but when it invades a flower garden, it’s a pain to deal with. The birds have brought in lots of bermuda grass which is continually sending out runners trying to get in with my flowers.

My main defense against weeds is a block border and a “Line of Death – LOD” around the border. I have a clear area around the border which I keep clean of any weeds. Here are a couple of tricks regarding the L.O.D.

  • I use a concrete block area to mark my garden area. It not only helps to define the garden, but catches garden seeds and gives me new plants every year. I like blocks that allow you to make a curve.

  • Be vigilant – once a week is about fine for patrolling the LOD.
  • Have good soil, fine mulch or compost in this LOD area so that it is easy to remove weeds. If you are trying to pull weeds from clay, it is much harder. While I buy compost by the yard, you can buy nice mixes in bags.
  • Preen is another product that I use at times. It keeps seeds from germinating. Put in the L.O.D. area to keep the weeds from sprouting.
  • Try Burnout as an organic weed killer. It works great for a week, but many times the roots are not killed and you will have to spray again.
  • I use a Japanese hoe to loosen weeds. It’s my favorite hand tool.

The final tool is an edger to keep the grass back. I do this once a week.

Inside the garden I sometimes use Preen for paths inside the garden. I use my Japanese hoe to get 99% of the rest of the weeds. Persistence is the key. I consider this my workout for the day.

Note – if you have already lost the battle with the weeds, it might be easier to take out the plants you want to keep, mow the area and then cover with either newspaper or cardboard and then add compost or fine mulch. Let the weeds die underneath it all for a couple of months.

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