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7 Methods of Natural Weed Control for a Weed Free Garden

These 7 methods of natural weed control will free you from spending all your time weeding and help you establish a weed free garden! If you’re as tired of weeding your garden as I am, then you need these tips in your life.These 7 methods of natural weed control will free you from spending all your time weeding and help you establish a weed free garden! If you're as tired of weeding your garden as I am, then you need these tips for a weed free garden.

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Welcome back to Tuesdays in the Garden! I’m excited for the beginning of the gardening season, even though we’re currently covered in snow. It’s supposed to be 70 degrees on Thursday! Then more snow over the weekend, and then maybe, if we’re lucky, spring might decide to stick around permanently.

tuesdays in the garden

This year, expect Tuesdays in the Garden on the second Tuesday of each month. On that Tuesday, my favorite gardening buddies and I will bring you lots of amazing gardening tips. On this second Tuesday in April, we’re helping you start your gardening season off on the right foot.  With that in mind, I’m helping you create a weed-free garden this year. Scroll to the end to find everyone else’s amazing gardening tips.

7 Methods of Natural Weed Control for a Weed Free Garden

1. Use Thick Black Plastic a as Weed Barrier –

I have learned over the years that weeds will quickly overtake my garden if I’m not proactive. I can see the little weeds first thing in the spring. They’re the first living things to appear in my garden! I’ve watched with interest as other gardeners cover their gardens with thick black plastic to prevent the weeds from coming up in the first place and this year I finally did it myself.

plastic weed barrier in a large garden

Cover your garden with black plastic in the fall if you’re on the ball, or in the spring like me if you’re not. This year, I covered a lot of my garden with an 8 mm black poly that I bought at Menards. I also used old tarps that my husband found somewhere. Probably the trash. 😉 I did cover my raised beds with cardboard in the fall, but for my main garden area, I used the black plastic and other tarps. I just can’t come up with that much cardboard or find an effective way to keep it safe from our windy climate.

2. Mulch – 

Mulching your garden is one of the best things you can do for it. Not only does it keep weeds down, it also keeps moisture in. If you don’t mulch your garden, you need to start. Immediately! Read this post for lots of tips on how to mulch and where you might be able to find it for free. If you have enough cardboard, layer mulch on top of it. Or even on top of old newspapers.

3. Plant Thickly – 

A great way to have a weed free garden is to plant your veggies quite thickly. If your soil is full of nutrients it will support more and as you thin plants out to give other veggies room to grow, you gain food at the same time! For instance, plant carrots and radishes together. The radishes will grow (and mature) more quickly, so as the carrots need the space, harvest and eat the radishes!

4. Adopt the No-Till Gardening Method – 

This is something I have had to work really hard to convince my husband we need to do. I’m not honestly sure why, even most of the commercial farmers around here don’t till anymore. But for some reason, Dan thinks we must till. Unfortunately, tilling your garden destroys the soil organism habitat and beneficial fungal networks that healthy soil needs. It also brings all the weed seeds front and center making it easier for them to grow!

We are in the process of establishing permanent beds throughout my garden and making permanent walk-ways. We’re also not tilling any more. After years of tilling, it will be a transition, but it’s one I’m very excited about making! Read more about transitioning to a no-till garden here.

flowers for the garden

5. Add Lots of Flowers – 

This goes along with plant thickly, but it’s also great for companion planting. Flowers not only provide needed food for the lovely bees, but they can also ward off harmful insects and enhance production and flavor of some veggies. Read my companion planting guide and make sure to add lots of flowers to your garden this year.

6. Water Individual Plants and not the Whole Garden –

Weeds also need water to grow, so not watering areas where there are no veggies can help keep weeds down. Instead of sprinkling the entire garden, install drip irrigation around only your vegetables. This is something I need to do better in my garden this year. I rarely water my garden, but when I do, it’s via sprinkler to the entire plot.

7. Pull Weeds when They’re Tiny – 

If you pull weeds when they’re very small, they will come out a lot easier than if you want until they’re 10 feet tall with 8 foot roots. I know, I’ve had HUGE weeds in my garden in the past (like last year). Also, when you pull weeds out when they’re very tiny, they won’t have gone to seed. Getting them before they go to seed will be much better for you in the long run. I personally love my loop hoe. It does a fabulous job of pulling tiny weeds out by their roots.

8. Bonus Option I haven’t personally tried, Use an Organic Weed Preventer

Last year when I was at Moss Mountain Farm, P Allen Smith mentioned that he uses an organic weed preventer to prevent crabgrass, dandelions, and other weeds. I have never tried this method, but it sounds intriguing to me, and I’d love to hear if you have tried it and if so, what you thought. Essentially, you sprinkle this on your garden, much as a conventional farmer uses a chemical pre-emerge, and it prevents weeds from growing in the first place. If you use an organic pre-emerge, be careful. I have read that it won’t let ANYTHING grow, so sprinkle it around already established plants, and NOT in areas where you intend to plant seeds.

Tuesdays in the Garden Season Opener!

Want more gardening tips? Check out what my Tuesdays in the Garden friends have in store for you this month! I’m excited to read these posts. 🙂 Just click on the picture or the link underneath to go right to each of their posts.

hand trowel in a raised vegetable bed

Shelly at Frugal Family Home – 7 Tips for Preparing Your Garden for the Growing Season

perennials in containers

Patti at Hearth & Vine – Perennials for Containers – frugal ways to fill your flower pots

an oregon cottage

Jami at An Oregon Cottage – Easy to Grow Vegetableshomemade food junkie

Diane at Homemade Food Junkie – 9 tips for Gardening Success

angie the freckled rose

Angie the Freckled Rose – April Gardening in Zone 6

Like this post for creating a weed free garden? You might like these too:

Inspirational Homesteading Books Every Home Library Needs

The Ultimate Guide to Finding and Using Free Mulch

Ten Practical Tips for First Time Gardeners

Top 10 Plants for an Early Spring Harvest

These 7 methods of natural weed control will free you from spending all your time weeding and help you establish a weed free garden! If you're as tired of weeding your garden as I am, then you need these tips for a weed free garden.

 

Comments

  1. These are great tips and who doesn't want an easy way to keep weeds at bay. It's funny about the tilling issue. My parents had a huge garden growing up and they tilled it every year. Now I read everywhere that the practice is no longer a good idea. Things are always changing. I like the idea of adding flowers. Since I mainly only grow flowers I think I need to flip it and add some veggies to my flowers. It's been a long winter and I can't wait to get out in the garden.
  2. Love these tips and I can vouch for most of them. Our garden is SO much easier to maintain now with these helpful weed free methods. Dave also loved to rototill every spring. Just something about that freshly tilled soil I think. Fortunately his tiller died a few years ago. Then he became willing to try the plastic mulch method. SO much easier now and the plants love it too!
  3. These are great tips. I cover my garden each year in the early spring with black plastic and I no longer till. It has made such a big difference in weeds in our garden. I also apply a thick layer of mushroom compost each year too. It helps to keep the weeds down and feed the garden too.
  4. Yay, I'm so glad you're using the plastic and letting go of the till!! I think you will be pretty happy with the results. :) I have used the corn gluten meal years ago when it first came out (I think from Gardens Alive). It was really orangey-yellow, so didn't look too good on my dark compost covering my pretty beds and it clumped up after rains. I don't know if it worked, but it sure didn't look good!

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