Friday, April 15, 2011


It's time for things to start growing.  Yay!!!
But that also means the weeds will grow.  Oh darn.
Here is information on weeding, pulled from my website:

There are two reasons to eliminate weeds.  First weeds within your vegetable crop steal soil nutrients from those vegetables, and second, your vegetable garden will look much more beautiful with the weeds gone.

We all know, to make weeds go away, you get out and pull them.  That’s pretty easy advice.

But there are other things you can do to control weeds.

Spraying them with a product like Round Up may seem like an easy solution, but Round Up is not organic.  It is dangerous for pets and wildlife, and may cause cell damage, be dangerous to pregnant mothers and may be a carcinogen.  Round up will also kill the good plants along with the bad if the plants are close together.  It will also do damage to your soil food web.
Here is a link to more information on the dangers of Round Up. 

Organic Herbicides
There are organic weed control products on the market.  I have had luck with a product called Burnout II, but only with weeds that very delicate and easy to hoe or pull anyway.  It did not do a great job on our quack grass. This product, and others like it, contain clove oil as the main ingredient.   

Corn Gluten Meal is another weed control product, but it must be applied before the weeds emerge.   

Vinegar is another product that can be used and I found verification, written in 2004, that it was approved for organic commercial growers.  For weed control, 10% vinegar works well and 20% vinegar works even better.  These are stronger than household vinegar at 5%.    

(To save money the 20% could be purchased and diluted 1:1 with water to try a 10% solution first on your weeds.  If that didn't work, you could then try it full strength.)
My greatest success with controlling weeds has come from mulching.  A layer of leaves, compost, or aged manure will shade the weed seeds so they will not sprout.  To control really tough weeds, a layer of newspaper under the mulch adds more control.    

Another method I highly recommend is a flame weeder.  This is a wand that has propane attached to it.  A small flame comes out.  Weeds are touched for only a second or two until they start to wilt.  That’s enough to kill the weed.
Clear plastic is another tool for your weed arsenal.  Lay down the plastic in early spring over the area.  Let the weed seeds germinate in the warmth under the plastic.  Then remove the plastic and hoe the weeds (don't rototill, it will bring more weed seeds to the surface).  Then you can plant in an area where many of the weeds have already been taken care of. 

Good luck with your weeds!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the peak at the downside of gardening and for reminding us that even weed eradication need not be too big of a battle.