Whether you are simply adding aesthetic value to your landscape or growing fresh food to eat that a million other people have not handled, there is always some maintenance required when keeping a garden. This may lead you to wonder how often you should weed a garden.
To keep your gardens well-manicured and under control, you should weed your garden at least once a week. Frequently pulling weed sprouts before they mature will prevent invasive weeds from taking over and reduce the amount of time you spend weeding in the long run.
If you are new to gardening or are struggling with particularly persistent weeds that are trying to take over your garden and need some tips, keep reading, and we will provide you some helpful tips.
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Weed Often to Prevent Overwhelming Overgrowth
How often you have to weed your garden depends upon a few things such as:
- If you use weed/grass killer
- The preventative measures that were taken before planting
- The quality of your soil
- The type of garden that you have planted
- Your geographic location
- Your weather and climate
A good rule of thumb for preventing your garden from a hostile take-over by weeds is to do a good weeding at least once a week, and then periodically throughout the week as you see little sprouts pop up, you can pull them to prevent them from getting any bigger.
The more a weed matures, the harder it becomes to pull and also remove the roots completely. Many weeds are very invasive and have small roots that grow deep into the ground and will continuously grow. To prevent them from taking over, you need to be diligent. If you get lazy one week, you will have to work twice as hard to get things under control again the following week.
To Weed or Not to Weed – That is the Question
When we think of weeds in the garden, our natural instinct is to automatically consider them to be an enemy that must be irradicated. Many gardeners believe that having a weed in plain sight is absolutely unacceptable. However, in some cases, these pesky weeds that we struggle to keep under control can actually provide a service to our gardens.
You may be wondering how in the world a weed can be of service to your garden. In the next section, we will discuss weeding as it pertains to growing a vegetable garden. If you are specifically into growing flowers and keeping a well-landscaped property, this section may not pertain to you; but continue reading because we will cover both types of weeding regimes.
Dry Soil Promotes Erosion
If you live in an arid climate that does not receive much rain, you need all the help you can get to keep your soil moist and intact. When soil becomes too dry, water will not absorb into the ground as well.
Instead of the water gradually soaking into the soil where the roots need it most, it can wash the soil away, exposing the plant’s roots to the elements. To prevent this from happening, you can take the following steps when planting and maintaining your garden.
When planting your rows, make large hills or mounds for planting your seeds and starter plants. Be sure that there is plenty of space between them, so if you need to use a garden tiller, you can do so without damaging your plants.
Put Those Weeds to Work
Since you know you will have weeds in your garden, you may as well put them to work for you. The key to this maintenance strategy is to only weed around the actual plant.
Leave the spaces between the hills and mounds alone. This is because the weeds and grass growing in between the plants will help the ground retain moisture and prevent erosion.
Although this method makes maintaining a garden a little easier, it does not mean that you can just set your plants and walk away without doing anything. You should still weed around each plant at least once per week to prevent things from getting out of control.
When Weeds Just Won’t Do
If you love flowers and create beautiful landscapes, you definitely do not want any weeds mussing up the beautiful display you have worked so hard to create and maintain.
Maintaining a flowerbed can become overwhelming very quickly if the weeds are not kept under control. When weeding a flowerbed, it is often necessary to do so a little more frequently than in a vegetable garden. This is because you are trying to create something visually pleasing, and weeds do not fall into that category for most people.
Pull Those Pesky Sprouts Before They Grow
To keep your flowerbeds free from weeds, you should do a thorough weeding at least once a week, and then every other day or so, you can go through and pull the little sprouts that pop up. The more you do this, the easier it will be to keep things under control, and the less amount of time you will need to spend on each weeding session.
If you have a vegetable garden and do not wish to let the weeds grow between your garden’s rows, you should also follow the recommendation above. To make things less labor-intensive, be sure to leave yourself plenty of room to walk and maneuver a garden tiller between the rows.
Other Ways to Reduce the Frequency of Weeding
If you are like most human beings, weeding does not fit into your description of fun activities. Who wants to spend hours and hours weeding a garden when they could be out doing more important things like sitting by the pool with a cool drink in their hand.
The following tips can help reduce your time spent weeding:
- Lay rolled plastic or weed barrier fabric over the entire garden before planting.
- Make raised flowerbeds and vegetable gardens. This is the best way to avoid having to weed all of the time.
- Use an organic weed and grass killer between your rows to limit the growth and reduce the frequency that you need to weed.
- You can also use mulch around your plants to keep the ground moist and prevent weeds from growing as quickly. Cedar or cypress mulch is also an all-natural way to ward off some bugs that can potentially eat and damage your plants.
Tools for Aiding the Weeding Process
Weeding is no fun and can take a lot of time.
The following tools can help reduce the frequency and amount of time you spend weeding your flowerbeds and vegetable gardens:
- Hand cultivator. These are super handy because they dig the ground up easily and allow you to grab the weeds by the roots. Here are some examples:
- Hand trowel. Great for digging up weeds that are extra deep and stubborn. Suggestions for valuable tools are below:
- Small hand rake. Helpful for pulling up small weed sprouts and cleaning debris from around the plants. We’ve provided some alternatives to make your decision easier:
Once Per Week to Keeps Weeds at Bay
If you ask five gardeners how often you need to weed your garden, you will likely get five different answers, so ultimately, do what works best for you and your garden. Whoever you ask will surely agree upon one thing, if you have a garden of any type, you will need to weed it at least once a week to keep it looking nice and growing to its fullest potential.