Growing a garden can be filled with beautiful moments, such as your seed sprouting or the first sign of growing vegetables on plants. But some tasks you have to take care of that aren’t so pleasant – like pest control and fungus problems!
And one, in particular, is weeding; this allows for thriving vegetable gardens from all parts by planting new seedlings at different distances apart according to their needs (thicker crops require more space).
But one that’s just part of the routine you take on as a gardener is weeding the garden. This allows your vegetable plants to thrive.
Weeding is my least favorite part of gardening. There have been years I’ve given up, and I lost opportunities for my watermelon and canteloupe to survive. It’s a chore, but it can give you a better harvest.
Trust me, and if you want to do lazy gardening, it can work BUT by the end of the season, the plants don’t thrive. If you have a short growing season as we do, it’s best to get weedy in the beginning. Something I’m reminding myself right not as well!
When weeds are present in your garden bed, they’re sucking the nutrients and hydration away from your vegetable plant. You don’t want anything leeching off of your plant – whether it’s an insect nibbling at the leaves or a weed whose roots are not allowing your garden to succeed.
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The first bit of weeding you’ll be doing, which is the hardest, is thinning out your sprouts. You will usually need to plant more seeds than you’ll use to ensure that space has a sprout that pops up.
But leaving too many sprouts in that place allows the same thing that happens with weeds – two plants competing for the same nutrients.
Once you’ve chosen the sprout to leave in place, you’ll want to continually watch for weeds to pop up around it so that you can pull it immediately.
One of the easiest tools I have found to keep down on the weeds- especially in between rows is a small little rake or a wood handle action hoe like the one shown above.
My neighbor first introduced me to this tool and it works awesome. Just a little back and forth motion and the weeds are all pulled up.
You can grab this item at Lowe’s , Home Depot or your local hardware store.
I use this little rake from Tractor supply and love it! It’s also the cheaper option.
The same goes for starting seeds indoors– it’s essential to cut back the other sprouts so the plant can flourish.
If you wait and procrastinate with the task of weeding, that plant will become stronger and harder to remove.
Some people think their plant can survive it, but even if it does, having to harvest a garden with produce tangled up among weeds will be a complicated process for you.
It’s also frustrating. Not taking care of my weeds early on was why I had major Garden Burnout the one year.
If you didn’t weed at the beginning, here are a few tips to help you clear your garden full of weeds today:
- Start over- If it’s really out of control, the best thing is to rip everything up and start fresh.
- Using a tiller is a lot easier than by hand. Check for local places to rent it for the day.
- Weed after it rains- weeds are a lot easier to pull when the soil is moist
- Use Mulch to help prevent weeds
- Lay newspaper down
- Clear your garden of rocks and roots
- Use ground cover plants
- Be sure to have the edges of the garden trimmed- this is where we usually have grass creep up when we start a new garden bed, and it’s worth the extra care to take it out BEFORE you plant your vegetables.
- Plant close together
This is not merely an aesthetic task to keep your garden looking lovely. It needs to be done routinely. Unfortunately, some people avoid it because they have difficulty getting up and down in their garden.
You can buy stand-up weeder tools to make the task much more straightforward. The best thing about them is that they get to the weed’s root and remove it.
If you weed your garden by hand, you have to make sure you’re taking it out down to the root, or else it will simply pop right back up and continue leeching off of your garden.
One thing that motivates me with weeding is knowing I can give our pigs and goats all the weeds. The pigs especially love it.
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If the weed is growing close to your plants, make sure that you’re carefully removing them and not disturbing the root system of your vegetable plants in the process.
As you pull them out, add some mulch to the garden to help prevent more weeds from popping up.
Check your local Home Depot or Lowe’s, or your local gardening store for their spring sale, to grab Mulch for a better deal than halfway through the summer.
If weeding is not your thing and you are over it, container gardening would be a great option to start this year!
Although it may be difficult to remove weeds, it is worth the effort for a thriving garden. By following these tips and paying attention to your plant’s needs, you can have a beautiful and bountiful vegetable garden.
Are there any other gardening tips that you find helpful? Let us know in the comments!
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