Backyard Landscape – Winning the Battle of the Weeds in Your Small Garden
Once you have finished your small garden design and started the installation you will certainly be quickly faced with every gardener’s nemesis: weeds.
Just like the plants you have so carefully selected for your new garden weeds are living, breathing plants that will thrive in the same conditions you are so carefully creating with your new small garden design.
In other words, the very nutritious soil you are providing for the ornamental plants will feed and nurture the weeds as well.
The bottom line is the same things that make your garden so lovely, nutrition, sunlight, and water will also help weeds to thrive as well.
So how to get rid of the weeds, or at least keep them under control, without spending every waking hour pulling them out? The only thing you can deny weeds without killing your desired plants at the same time is sunlight and that can be accomplished in a couple of ways.
Turning the soil by hand will bury the weeds in it and kill them very effectively. The drawback to this method is, depending on the size of your beds, labor intensive and will need to be done every few days, as often as new weeds appear.
This job can be made easier by using a small sized rototiller to turn the soil instead of doing it by hand. Some will tell you that using a rototiller will just chop up the weeds and cause more to grow. While this is true to a degree, the secret is to turn the soil, wait until the surface is dry, and then turn again. Repeating this over several days will eventually cause all your weeds to dry out and die.
The other solution is to cover your beds with mulch which will also deprive weeds of sunlight. This works very well but the organic mulch material will eventually begin to rot and turn into prime weed growing soil itself. When that begins to happen, you will need to add more mulch material.
Under no circumstances should you install the weed control fabric or black plastic as a weed control device.
Both the fabric and the plastic are extremely unattractive and will need to be covered either with mulch or soil which defeats the whole purpose of putting it down in the first place. The material you use to cover it will, in time, begin to rot and become a prime breeding ground for weeds. But now you have to deal with the fabric or plastic as well as the weeds. A good rule to follow is never put anything in your garden that won’t breakdown naturally.