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The use of chemicals can, however, leach into the soil to be absorbed by your plants, including the ones that you eat. Herbicides can also sicken pets and wildlife. Here are some organic gardening resources that you can use to fight weeds organically:
Grow healthy gardens: As always, prevention is the best cure. This means providing the best conditions possible for plant growth.
Healthy plants will compete and crowd out weeds better than weak ones. Weed development is encouraged by improper watering, compacted soil, insects and disease. Fortunately, these conditions are all within your control and can usually be prevented by mulching.
Pull and Compost: Weeds with shallow root systems are easy to pull up, but some weeds thrive in the compost heap. One strategy is to place weeds in plastic bags, fill with water and leave for a couple of months. The water will fill with nutrients and make a good natural fertilizer for the garden, and the weeds will compost better.
Your compost heap can go behind your 15×8 garden shed (or whatever size shed you have) and will work day in – day out for you.
Burn: Weeds not in close proximity to other plants can be killed with boiling water. A flamer can also be used, but as with boiling water, you must be very careful not to damage other plants.
Mulch: When choosing mulch consider the soil and plant type for optimum health of the plants. A layer of straw, shredded leaves, grass clippings or other organic mulch will smother small weeds.
Till: Turn over the soil before spring planting and allow the new weeds to sprout up. Then you can remove them using a shovel or hoe before they are well established and you have plants to work around.
Solarisation: A year before planting a garden plot, cover the soil with plastic; this will induce temperatures high enough to kill the weeds and the weed seeds beneath the soil. Then remove the plastic and till or rake.
Go Native: When landscaping, choose native plants because these are best suited to the local climate. Healthy plants are much better at fighting weeds. As well as competing better, healthy plants produce lush foliage, which in turn creates shade, making it harder for weeds to germinate.
Hoe and pull up weeds depending on what you want to accomplish: when you pull up a weed, you may also bring other weed seeds up to germinate, and when you hoe, the weed’s root system may survive. Use you garden shed in the planning stages and take a look at 1st Choice range of garden workshops which include 15×5 15×6 15×7 and 15×9 as well as all the standard range of sizes.
Use newspapers: Nearly all newspaper ink is soy-based so it is fine to place a layer of newspaper about 1/4 to 1 inch thick over the plot. Sprinkle with water as you go along so it won’t blow away. Cover with straw (or in beds, bark). The newspaper and straw can all be tilled into the soil after you harvest your garden.
Make use of a live mulch: Fill in spaces between your plants with a fast-growing, low-growing variety. Since you are likely to be walking in this area, choose a hardy one. Thyme is a popular choice because of the fragrance emitted when stepped upon and the subtle flavour it lends to vegetables. Plus it is an effective pest control.
Use drip irrigation: This watering method prevents the wasteful watering that often leads to weed growth in unplanted areas, such as pathways. I used that around the side of my 15×8 garden shed.
Plant a cover crop in the autumn: This will crowd out weeds and significantly cut down on weeds in your spring garden, not to mention prevent soil erosion. If you choose a cover crop that is a member of the legume family, such as rye, clover or fava beans, then when you till it under in the spring, it will also add nitrogen to the soil.