Do you like weeding your flowerbeds slightly less than dropping a beer mug on your bare toe? The problem is, it never ends! Weeds are fearless. They’re relentless. They’re procreating by the millions!
One dandelion plant can spit out up to 15,000 seeds per year, and each and every one of those little potential baby dandelions can last up to six years in the soil. You see how Mother Nature is?
Fortunately, there are some solutions:
Mulching your garden will keep down a lot of weeds. Organic mulches like cedar mulch, pine needles, and pine bark actually cool the soil somewhat, conserving water and reducing germination of weeds. I might point out that some people recommend straw or hay for mulch, and straw is fine. Straw consists of empty stalks harvested after the seeds have been removed. On the other hand, hay is harvested seeds and all, and those seeds will make weeds in your garden. Don’t use hay. You might try plastic mulch (which tends to warm the soil) or a fabric barrier.
Laying down newspaper and putting dirt on top of it seems to be a popular method that people are talking about. Apparently it works! Personally, that sounds like a lot of trouble and a big mess, but hey! To each his own, and you can find a lot of individuals recommending it.
Pulling by hand is simple, and probably what your mother did and hers before her. I know this firsthand. My mom told me the only reason she had little girls was so they could weed the flowerbeds for her. (Nice, Mom. Thanks for the complex…) After a rain, or a good sprinkle from the hose, young weeds are easy to pull out – except for those insidious, huge broadleaf weeds that have a taproot that reaches around the block… Pulling weeds when they first come up prevents them from going to seed. I don’t mind pulling a few weeds. In the spring. When I’m still excited about gardening. When it isn’t 80° at 7 a.m. and bugs are flying right into your ears.
Bad thing about pulling weeds: remember those 15,000 seeds from that one dandelion that are lying dormant in the soil? You just stirred them up and said ‘wake up, wake up!’
Killing the weeds, or fixing it so they can’t germinate, seems like a much tidier alternative to me. There are some products you can buy at your local home and garden center, like Preen, Amaze Grass & Weed Preventer by Green Light, or WorryFree Organic Grass & Weed Killer. All of these can be safely used in your flowerbeds, with varying degrees of effectiveness and cost. Be sure to always read and follow label directions carefully! If you Google any of those brands, you can find user reviews.
If you would rather someone did it for you, we offer a 3-application per/year flowerbed weed control, using a very effective pre-emergent product that is not available over the counter. We do 2 applications in the spring and 1 in the fall. We can’t promise you’ll never see a weed, but your weeding time will be shortened considerably – like 5 minutes instead of an hour! We’d be happy to give you a free estimate for flowerbed weed control! Or, read more about it.