Weeding flower beds and loosening the soil are essential for garden plants. But how much time and effort this work takes! We offer to talk about how to rid the garden of weeds, and ourselves from weeding, with a minimum of effort and cost.
To get rid of weeding, don’t give the weeds a chance to germinate
The easiest and cheapest way to prevent weeds from sprouting is to cover the open spaces between crops with a layer of mulch. For the method to work, two conditions must be met:
a) first remove all weeds;
b) lay the mulch in a layer of at least 5-10 cm.
You can mulch the soil with materials of organic and inorganic origin. The advantage of organic matter is that it prevents the growth of weeds and, gradually decomposing, feeds the plants.
Types of organic mulch.
- Mown grass. It dries quickly and decomposes, therefore it is suitable for remote areas of the garden and beds, but inappropriate in the front area. It is very good to use fresh grass on poor soils to enrich them with nitrogen and potassium. But the grass must be spread in a very thin layer to prevent its decay and it is advisable to dry it before mulching. For better air circulation, cut grass can be mixed with chopped wood.
- Chopped bark or wood chips. Looks beautiful around trees and shrubs, on flower beds with perennials, in vegetable borders along paths, foundations. Pine bark acidifies the soil, so it is better to add it to conifers, rhododendrons, heathers, lingonberries, blueberries. However, this type of mulch binds nitrogenous compounds, making nitrogen inaccessible for assimilation by plants, therefore, before mulching, embed horn-hoofed meal in the soil according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition, before mulching, you should completely get rid of wheatgrass and willow, including their roots, otherwise they will germinate after a while even through the mulch layer.
- Straw and hay… Popular mulch for the garden. Decomposes more slowly than grass and will help keep your garden beds clean throughout the season. Straw is especially good for mulching strawberries – the berries will always be clean and dry.
Before mulching, thoroughly clear the area of weeds, water abundantly and only then lay a layer of mulch. Place wet mulch at a distance of 2-3 cm from the stems of flowers and shrub trunks so that they do not start to rot.
Option for mulching flower beds with bark
Mulch delays the germination of weeds, but individual specimens will still break through and you will have to pull them out from time to time. But you do not need to loosen the soil – organic matter will not allow a dry crust to form on the surface and will preserve the soil structure. The mulch needs to be renewed every season.
Decorative filling with crushed stone / gravel
You can also block weeds with the help of decorative filling with crushed stone, pebbles, gravel. To do this, you will need a layer of inorganic material, the thickness of which depends on the fraction of the stone, usually 2-3 cm – it will become an obstacle to weeds, prevent soil compaction and overheating, and retain moisture.
Crushed stone and pebbles are heavy material, so if you just pour it on the ground, it will eventually sink into the depths. To prevent this from happening, first the soil is covered with geotextile (spunbond), and a stone is poured on top. Geotextile is good because it allows air and water to pass through, but does not allow weed seeds to germinate.
Filling with decorative gravel is best done simultaneously with planting. The soil is first laid with non-woven material, then cuts are made and seedlings are planted in them. Then a stone is laid in the empty spaces.
If there are already plantings, each bush is carefully covered with geotextile and dumping is done
The assortment of decorative stone is large, and the choice depends on the aesthetics of the garden and the function that the filling material must perform. As a general rule, the smaller the plant, the smaller the fraction of the stone.
Filling with crushed stone – an effective way to decorate compositions
Another way to get rid of weeds is to turf the soil with perennial grasses. They form such a dense bristle of roots and stems (turf) that there is simply no room for weeds.
Sodding is used if you need to close large areas of the garden – lawns, the space between trees and shrubs, tree trunks. Ideally suited for these purposes fescue meadow, perennial chaff, white clover, meadow bluegrass, bent grass. The listed cereals and grasses have a superficial root system, and they do not compete with garden crops.
Sowing grass is best done in spring or early fall. To do this, first dig up the area, select the roots of perennial weeds to the maximum, chop and level the soil thoroughly. Then prepare or buy a ready-made mixture of herbs at the rate of 25-30 g of seeds per 1 m². To ensure that the seeds lay evenly, mix them with 3 parts sand and sow. Rake the area again and spray with a fine sprayer.
Sodding has a lot of advantages. The grass serves as a warm blanket, which saves the roots of trees and shrubs from hypothermia in winter and overheating in summer, well structures the topsoil, and retains moisture.
By closing the garden, you will save yourself not only from weeding, but also from digging tree-trunk circles
Sodding is a reliable way to control weeds. But to get a dense layer, it will take more than one year. In addition, the grass also needs to be looked after – watering, mowing, feeding.
Planting ground cover plants
Ground cover plants will also give a good resistance to weeds. This is the name of undersized crops that tend to creep along the ground. They quickly master the area allotted to them and displace all other plants from there.
Ground covers are planted in mixborders with large perennials, in tree trunks, in wide borders along the lawn and paths.
We bring to your attention the top 5 most popular of them, which can quickly and permanently save you from weeding.
Loose leaf (Lysimachia nummularia)
The plant forms a carpet of long, creeping stems that root easily where it touches the soil. It grows quickly, so you need to control so that the loosestrife does not capture someone else’s territory.
Verbeynik grows well both in open areas and in partial shade, but in the sun it blooms earlier and more abundantly. Loves loose, moist, fertile soil, is not afraid of flooding by groundwater. In summer it needs watering. For the winter, the loosestrife lashes are not cut off, but the bushes are covered with compost.
This perennial with a creeping rhizome and beautiful carved leaves will grow well in the shade of trees, forming a dense cover 5–10 cm high. Prefers light, moderately moist, nutritious soil. In drought, watering is needed. For the winter, the bushes are mulched with organic matter. You will have to wait 2-3 years for the weeds to grow and displace.
For its external resemblance, Waldsteinium trifoliate is often called carpet strawberries
Apical pachisandra (Pachisandra terminalis)
An evergreen groundcover with shiny, leathery leaves is most often planted under trees and large shrubs. The fact is that the pachisandra rises by 15–35 cm and small plants against its background will simply be lost.
Pachisandra prefers shady corners of the garden with moist, nutritious and preferably slightly acidic soil. In order for the bushes to quickly close up and block the path of the weeds, at least 8–12 plants must be planted on 1 m².
Subulate bryozoan (Sagina subulate)
Bryozoans are an excellent alternative to cereal grasses, with the difference that it does not rise above 5–8 cm, so it does not have to be mowed. To obtain a solid carpet, at least 15 plants are planted on 1 m².
Bryozoan loves partial shade, but if you provide regular watering, it will take root in the sun. The culture is unpretentious to the composition of the soil, but it needs good drainage. Bryozoans will displace weeds approximately in the second or third year after planting.
Subulate bryozoan is especially beautiful in relief areas.
Creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum)
For open sunny areas, creeping thyme (thyme) is ideal. Provide him with fertile soil, and he will feel great even in crevices between stones. The plant forms a dense cover of low (up to 15 cm) hairy shoots, which is covered with purple flowers in summer. To keep the bushes dense and compact, they need to be cut in early spring and immediately after flowering.
Creeping thyme will not only decorate the garden, but also fill it with an amazing aroma
Ground cover plants are an effective way to control weeds, but only after the bushes have closed and covered the soil. And this can take 2-3 years. Also, most of them overgrow within 8-10 years and need to be replaced.
As you can see, each method has its own pros and cons, so choosing one of them is difficult and unnecessary. They are good in a complex.
Use decorative crushed stone on the front flower beds, mulch the beds and remote corners of the garden with organic matter, sow lawns with grass and plant ground cover plants with carpet compositions. Say no to the weeds and enjoy the garden.