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Weeds: The Catch-22 of Gardening.

weedsWeeds, a necessity I say. I believe God put them on earth for a good reason. What?! Those pesky plants that seem so innocent when young, but as they mature they can take over an area in no time. Believe it or not, by reseeding themselves each year weeds actually reduce soil erosion from water and wind. These are the first plants to inhabit an area after a fire, providing organic matter to the soil as they break down and allowing for more desirable natives plants to become established.

All this being said, I’m not fond of weeds on my Acre. The past couple of weeks these tiny seedlings have started establishing themselves with warmer soil temperatures and moisture from the drip tape. Let to grow on their own, they tend to outgrow the vegetables that I have either seeded or transplanted and compete for valuable soil moisture and nutrients. When young, they are really easy to control mechanically with a hand weeder or tiller. As they get larger, they take a little more effort to remove them.

A couple of things that help this battle with the weeds are really quite simple. Soon after the plants are established, add a 4-6” layer of wheat straw to keep many of the weeds from growing. There will be some wheat seedlings to germinate, but they are easy to pull. I’ve also used landscape fabric on my vine crops which does an excellent job of weed control. You can easily lay drip irrigation under the fabric to water the plants.

Hi-Yield has a very effective weed preventer in their Weed and Grass Stopper. This granular herbicide is labeled for landscape areas as well as vegetable gardens. It lasts for weeks and makes weed control a snap.

I hope you’re having fun getting your Acre planted. We have a great selection of vegetable transplants that are ready to be planted.

Be sure to stop by DOTA (Drinks on the Acre) tonight, Monday, May 12th at the Acre. Park in the parking lot at the west 13th street store and walk across the street to the east of the store.

As always, Happy Gardening!