I’ve mentioned before that “in my gardening dreams I plant a seed or transplant a plant, lovingly water it while relaxing nearby afterwards with a glass of iced tea. The plants grow visibly every single day. They create flawless fruit quickly“.
Another way reality doesn’t match with my fantasy is the existence of weeds. Unfortunately weed seeds are everywhere. They blow around in the wind. They are in come mulches. In fact, I have had to pull up many many cantaloupe sprouts this spring because I made the mistake of putting cantaloupe seeds along with the rind into the worm bin. Sadly, the seeds survived and have been sprouting all over the place.
Weeds (I’m including any unwanted plant in the category of weeds) take space, nutrition and water away from the things you’re actually trying to grow. Not only that, but they’re kind of unsightly as well. In short, the weeds? They have to go.
Weeding can seem to be an overwhelming task. Weeds want to take over the world. I do have a couple of tips to cope with the whole weed issue.
1) Used raised beds. As I wrote in a previous post, my bed in the school garden was only a chain link fence away from a soccer field that is constantly seeded and green with grass all year long. Until we installed the raised bed, it really was just hopeless. There was no way to consistently keep the grass out of that bed. It made gardening there such a chore. Now, I get a couple of shoots of grass, but I’m able to easily keep up with it. When I added the new soil into the raised bed I put a think layer of newspaper on top of the old soil. The newspaper will compost, but in the meantime, the grass and everything down there will die.
2) Set the timer on your phone and weed just a few minutes at a time. Yesterday and today I went out to the school garden and pulled grass out of the half of my bed where the onions are. I didn’t go insane with boredom because my brain knew that it would only be 20 minutes, then I’d be free. You can do anything for 20 minutes. (Thanks Flylady)
There are certainly things you can do to to help prevent weeds in the first place. We’ll leave that for another blog post.