How to Prevent Weeds During the Winter
If you love your garden, it’s probably safe to say that you hate weeds. They look messy, steal the nutrients from your plants and are an incessant nuisance to deal with. For many gardeners keeping the weeds at bay is a long running battle.
If weeds have flourished during the winter months then it’s a good idea to start getting rid of them well before planting time. During the winter most gardens lie fallow and it’s a good idea to start clearing the debris before spring comes, weather permitting. It might be worth using a weed killer if there are a lot of stubborn weeds in your garden.
Little and Often
As most seasoned gardeners will tell you, the only way to keep your garden looking good and prevent weeds is to do a little of everything as often as possible. When you are digging the garden over, especially at the end of winter, try to disturb the top soil as little as possible. Too much digging in one particular area could shift the weed seeds around, causing problems in other areas. Weeds are just like any other plant in that they need air and sunshine if they are to grow properly.
If you want to attract insects and birds into your garden then try using organic mulch; the insects will feed on the seeds of the weed and prevent them from flourishing. You should replenish mulch on a regular basis as some light can get through even the densest mulch. The fact is that many gardens can become infested with weeds during late winter and early spring, which is why proper preparation is essential. When you spend just fifteen minutes a day in your garden in the spring, you should have it well prepared for planting.
Cover the Ground with Plants
One way of keeping weeds to a minimum is to have plants that cover a lot of ground. Plant flowers as close together as possible as densely covered ground will prevent the weeds from flourishing. Ground cover plants help to choke off the weeds and stop them from growing. When you sow your plants close together there are less spaces for the weeds to develop; scattered planting leaves too much space for weeds to grow.
Defeat the Enemy
When you are clearing weeds you need to dispose of them carefully or they will simply grow again. Be careful when moving the top soil and gather weeds into bundles. If you have a composter (most good gardeners do), once you have chopped the bundles of weeds ensure to compost them as this is the only way to ensure the seeds can’t propagate. When you put weeds into the composter you need to cover them with black or see through plastic sheeting, making sure the edges are closed. Leave the plastic there for around a month as this will ensure that the seeds are killed.
Just like any infestation it will give you less trouble if you can prevent it, than if you search around for a cure. As soon as you spot weeds appearing pull them, it’s the only way to stop the enemy from taking over your garden.
This article was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Garden Topsoil Direct.