Striving for a weed free garden? Here are my top three tips for weed free gardening!
1. The no dig method – When you dig in the soil or turn the soil over, you bring buried weeds lying dormant just below the surface of the soil to the top of the soil, waking them up and boosting them into germination. So if you are establishing a new border, leave it for a couple of weeks, so that you can eliminate weeds before you start planting. Once you’ve established a border, avoid digging around between the plants. You can see that every time you weed, you are bringing new weeds to the surface and the cycle can become endless.
2. Mulch – Weeds like plants need light to grow, so anything that blocks the light will cause them to die. Applying a thick layer of mulch around your plants will smother small weeds. Mulching has the added bonus of helping to retain moisture, limit evaporation, reduces splash on plant leaves keeping them cleaner and reducing fungi. As a bonus mulch naturally composts in place putting humus back into the soil. I like to use wood chips, while other gardeners may prefer to use a mulch of straw, nut kernels, leaves or pine needles. You can also put down a thick layer of newspaper on top of your soil. You will need to add a thin layer of mulch to keep it in place, but newspaper is a great weed barrier. Always water before you put down your mulch.
3. Grow your plants closely together: Weeds like open, sunny spaces between garden plants, so bare soil is an invitation for weeds to grow. Crowd them out by growing your plants closely together and grow ground covers between your plants, this is called a living mulch.
Which now leaves us with weeds that grow between paving: Plants don’t like vinegar. You can put vinegar into a spray bottle and spray the weeds. The vinegar will kill the weeds. Make sure it doesn’t get onto the plants you want, as it can't discriminate between the plants you like and the plants you don’t. Tip: Vinegar works best in the bright sunlight. It causes the leaves of the plant to dehydrate in the hot sun.
Do you have any tips for weed free gardening, to add to list?