To weed or not to weed?
Not like that, silly. That's a given. I'm talking about dealing with the unwanted and uninvited in the garden. With a full time job, and life going on outside of my garden, the question always comes up- to weed or not to weed? Weed killers are NOT AN OPTION, so let's take it from there.
Is it necessary? Well, weeds can compete with your vegetables for soil nutrients and water. They can also transmit disease. So, it may be worth it......
I did a little research, and here is what I learned:
- When planting weed sensitive plants, choose sites with low weed pressure. If possible, avoid sites with aggressive weeds, especially invasive perennials. The less weed pressure you begin with, the easier it will be to protect your investment.
- Design crop rotations to facilitate reduction in weed pressure during the year(s) preceding a weed sensitive vegetable. Select cover crops that fight weeds effectively, yet are easy to manage prior to vegetable planting.
- Mulch! A 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch will reduce the germination and growth of weeds. It also helps maintain soil moisture. Evaporation is reduced, and the need for watering can be minimized. Some mulches can improve soil fertility too- bonus!
So, I say a little thoughtful planning before you plant goes a long way. I do still find myself pulling weeds, but it shouldn't be a full time gig. I have accepted that I have a nice bohemian garden, and my production is solid, so a few weeds won't kill either of us.
My Oregan Trail Sweet Peas, with a little clover and Bermuda grass sneaking in.