Weeds not only look bad in the garden, but they compete with the plants you have carefully planted and nurtured in your flower beds. They compete for sunlight, water, nutrients, and space. This competition weakens your plants and makes them more prone to attacks from pests and diseases. It also leads to lower yields in the vegetable garden. On top of all that, many weeds attract and harbor lots of insect pests. Yikes!
The trick to controlling weeds is to get them early before they grow large and produce seeds. Once they disperse seeds into your garden beds, they will spread rampantly and you'll be fighting them for years to come.
The easiest way to control them is to get them while they are small - when they are just little seedlings.
Seedlings have tender young roots and small tops that can be easily and quickly "scraped away" with Andre's favorite tool, the swing-head hoe or scuffle hoe. This tool has a long handle with a tempered steel blade that easily cuts through soil in the flower or vegetable garden. The stirrup-shaped head oscillates back and forth cutting through weeds and cultivating on both the push and pull stroke without disturbing the mulch. It's a great tool that can make short work of the weeds in your garden.
But what if you weren't diligent about keeping up with the weeds and a few have gotten large and out of hand?
Good old-fashioned hand pulling, if done properly, is still one of the best ways to get rid of pesky annual and perennial weeds in the garden. This method, if done with the use of a good weeding tool, causes minimal disturbance to the soil. Why is this a good thing? There are often weed seeds lying dormant in the soil and if the soil is "stirred up" a lot through tilling, digging, or deep hoeing, these seeds can become exposed to conditions that cause them to germinate. Not good!
There other ways to get rid of weeds in the garden including the use of different chemicals but sometimes I just like to get in there and weed the old-fashioned way. It is often regarded as one of the most unpleasant gardening chores but I find it to be relaxing in a way and it is definitely very rewarding because you can always see the difference you have made in your garden!