The seven most serious weeding mistakes that make gardening more difficult

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For most gardeners, weeding is not their favorite chore. During the growing season, it must feel like an endless (and possibly even a failed) battle. However, a garden without weeds looks neat, especially after big weeding. In addition, regular weeding is far beyond aesthetics, as these garden invaders compete with your plants for water, nutrients and light. If left unattended, aggressive weeds will completely occupy the bed and suffocate your favorite flowers or vegetables. Some weeds can also give diseases and pests a foothold to spread to your cultivated plants. Avoid these common weeding mistakes and make yourself easier.

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Pavel rodimov / Getty pictures

1. Don’t know the enemy.

Identifying weeds in your garden can help you find the best strategy to control them. Alison Arnold, a promotion agent in North Carolina, said: “one of the key aspects I encountered was that gardeners tried to win the fight against weeds, that is, they didn’t know what a weed was or anything about it.” “Being able to identify weeds will provide information on how to manage it.”

Related: 7 reasons why you should appreciate the ubiquitous dandelion

First, it helps to know whether you are dealing with annual, perennial or biennial weeds. Annuals can usually be controlled by cutting them to the ground before sowing, while perennials and some biennials treated in this way will only grow back from the roots. It also helps to understand how specific weeds spread (through seeds, stolons, suction cups, etc.), when they bloom and when seeds germinate.

2. Forget the seeds.

Many weeds are spread by producing large numbers of seeds that can usually survive in the soil for many years, waiting for a little light and water to grow. Keep this in mind when weeding so as to disturb the soil as little as possible. Covering with a layer of mulch also helps prevent weed seeds from seeing light.

Related: how to choose the best type of cover for your landscape

Clearing weeds before sowing can greatly reduce future weeds. Pre sprout herbicides, which are designed to kill germinating seeds in the soil, can be effectively controlled, but they also prevent the germination of required seeds, so don’t use them to overplant the lawn where you plan, for example.

3. Abuse of herbicides.

There are many kinds of herbicides that surpass those before emergencies; Should be used with caution and according to the instructions on the label. Do not spray on windy days, and wear protective clothing (mask, goggles, gloves, long sleeved shirt, trousers, socks and open toe shoes) when using. Make sure to use the right herbicide according to your specific needs. Some herbicides are selective, which means that some only kill grass, while others only kill broad-leaved plants. Non selective herbicides kill any plant that is sprayed. Label your spray so you won’t use it for anything else. Even a little herbicide residue can seriously harm your garden plants.

4. Use the wrong weeding tools.

You may want to use only the weeder for everything, but this is not the best solution for all types of weeds or garden conditions. “For annual weeds such as Zoysia, purslane and lamb chops, use a sharp hoe to cut off the weeds at the soil line. Don’t dig too deep, or you’ll grow more weed seeds and bring you more work,” said Charlie Nardozzi, a radio program on all things gardening Long handle hoes work well in vegetable gardens, while hand HOEs are ideal for weeding in narrow, crowded places or elevated beds

Related: This retractable herbicide is designed to keep you in the garden

“For perennial weeds, such as burdock and dandelion, wait until the soil gets wet; use a cultivator to dig deep into these taproots and try not to leave any roots. This can save you from mowing again later,” nardozi said. Good hand tools for rooting for many years include a Horie knife and a dandelion weeder.

5. Forget gloves.

To make matters worse, some weeds such as thistle and wild blackberry have thorns. Some weeds, such as nettles and poison ivy, may cause skin irritation. Avoid stings and rashes, especially when handling unfamiliar plants and always wear protective gloves when weeding.

6. Relying on landscape fabrics.

Landscape fabrics covered with mulch are touted as a long-term solution to weed control. It can effectively control weeds in roads, game places or other spaces where plants are not planted. However, if it is used in annual flower beds or vegetable gardens, you may need to replace it every year, which will hinder the annual plants that often need to grow rapidly to add compost or other soil amendments.

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For permanent planting, such as shrub boundaries or perennial gardens, landscape fabrics will make weeding more difficult in the long run. Soil and organic debris will accumulate in the covering at the top of the fabric, providing weed seeds that can germinate and grow in a perfect place. Over time, the fabric begins to decompose, so the roots of weeds can penetrate into the soil and are more difficult to dig due to barriers. Removing the landscape fabric after it has lost its effectiveness is much more onerous than weeding the area regularly.

7. Delay.

The longer weeds grow, the more they spread. Small weeds are easier to remove than large weeds. Once you find them growing, pull them and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and energy Kathy Purdy cold climate gardening This is especially true of woody weeds. Com. “Delaying the uprooting of woody seedlings of trees and shrubs is a big mistake. Unknowingly, you have to dig deep to pull out the roots. If you don’t pull out all of them, some woody plants will grow suction cups and become a persistent problem,” she explained.

So grab your gloves and the right tools and start! In weeding, it is always wrong to postpone this important task.

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