Sometimes weeding can feel like thankless work, but if you create a system and stay on top of things, you might just hear plants singing your praise. Learning more strategies to defeat weeds can make your life and your garden much happier. Read our guide to learn tips on how to tackle weeds and create a thriving garden.
It’s a lot of work, but the best tool for taking care of weeds is to stay on top of them before they get out of control. It’s never too early to start weeding. The best way to deal with weeds without any chemicals, is to pull them up with your own hands! There’s no need for weed killer when you commit to a regular weeding ritual—but this can be hard to stay on top of! We suggest choosing a time of day where you can naturally take care of weeding. If you’re a morning person, get up early and watch the sunrise while pulling up those pesky weeds. If you prefer evenings outside, do some garden work then. If you are composting (and you should be!), you can leave weeds out in the hot sun all day, where they will surely die and become safe to compost. However, if the weeds have already gone to seed, discard them in a yard waste bag!)
It can be pretty tricky to grab every weed as soon as it begins to grow. You may not have time to play whack-a-mole with weeds when you work or have a family to take care of. But one thing you should stay on top of is making sure the weeds don’t get a chance to go to seed. If you don’t have enough time to pull up all the weeds, just be sure you snap off the flower tops before they have a chance to spread like wildfire across your yard. Another benefit of removing the flowers is that the weed will grow weaker as it keeps expending its energy trying to create flowers over and over again.
Mulch Ado About Weeds
Mulch or bark is another great alternative to weed killer because it’s completely safe and nourishing for plants. Applying mulch in a 3-4 inch layer over your weeds, or anywhere you don’t want weeds, essentially chokes out most weed growth. It will prevent most weed seeds from germinating, and it looks nice too! This safe-for-plants alternative to chemical weed killer will require annual maintenance for it to stay effective. Add at least another 2 inches of mulch every year to keep weeds at bay.
Smothered and Covered
Another alternative to weed killer that is safe for plants is to treat them like mashed potatoes—smother and cover those weeds, but with landscape fabric instead of gravy! This tactic is great, especially when dealing with prickly weeds like thistle, which is difficult to deal with by hand. Lay down the landscape fabric, which will act a lot like mulch by blocking out all the essentials the weeds need to survive. There are a few options when it comes to landscape fabric, so shop around to find what works for you.
Last Stop: Herbicide
When all else fails, a herbicidal weed killer is effective at clearing weeds from your lawn and garden—and when used properly, it’s a safe and effective tool! Find a weed killer that is specifically formulated for the weeds you are trying to destroy, and don’t skip the instructions! Read carefully before proceeding and only use it on a clear, calm day. Wind or water can spread the herbicide beyond the treatment area. After using the weed killer, be sure to clean up and properly dispose of the dead plant material.
Here at Wallace’s Garden Center, we’re always here to help you with all your gardening needs. If you’re looking for an alternative to weed killer that is safe for plants in Bettendorf, contact us today!