Our Top Three Weed Prevention Strategies

Whether you’re an avid gardener or simply like to keep your home’s garden beds from getting overgrown, you know how frustrating it can be to try to keep weeds at bay. There are some weed prevention strategies that work better than others, and the team here at SoilAdvocates want to share three ideas that can help you find greater success when combating your weeds.

#1: Use Of Innovative Groundcovers

Groundcovers are not the most low-maintenance method of weed control, but they look natural and can keep your garden beds and landscapes looking green and happy. Plus you can get creative with some of the groundcovers you use, like wild ginger.

Keep in mind that the thickness of the groundcover is what will prevent weeds from growing. When groundcover is too thin, weeds will start to peek through. Weed growth also tends to be more of a problem in newer ground cover beds, because you disturbed the soil during installation.

You will likely not be able to eliminate weeds with groundcover, and will still need to pull weeds regularly. Going through several times a year and weeding these areas can make a big difference. So while this method does look much more natural, you must remember that it will be more work.

#2: Use of Broken Pots, Rock Or Sand

Depending on the type of landscape you have and the aesthetic you’re looking for in your gardens, you might find that using broken terra cotta pots or river rock and sand might also be an effective means of combating weeds on your land.

Broken pots can be used as raised planters or garden edging to help keep the weeds from invading certain areas or affecting particular plants. River rock and sand is a popular combination to add a sophisticated appearance to parts of your garden while also preventing weeds from growing in too quickly.

#3: Use Of Mulches

Perhaps the most popular method of fighting against weeds is to use mulch in your gardens to the appropriate guidelines for your plants and soil type. Mulch also has a more natural appearance while helping your gardens to look more “finished.”

Mulch is great for naturally killing off weeds. After all, weeds, like any other plant, need light and warm soil to grow. You can put down a two- to three-inch layer of mulch in areas you want to stay clear of weeds, which will keep most of those weed seeds from sprouting, as you crowd out their access to sunlight.

Different mulches have different benefits and will give your garden different looks. If you have lots of perennials, you should wait to mulch before the flowers begin to push through, then put down mulch all around them.

Keep in mind that mulch naturally breaks down over time, so you’ll need to replenish it each year to maintain a two- to three-inch layer.

For more tips about natural, cost effective weed control, contact one of the Soil Advocates specialists. Don’t let weeds rule your habitat.

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By |2018-06-14T07:44:09-04:00June 14th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Environment|Tags: , , , , , |

About the Author:

Dr. Leanne J Philip, BSc. (Hon.); MSc.; PhD. is the Managing Director & Chief Scientist of Soil Advocates Inc. She studied at the University of Guelph as an undergraduate (Plant Biology, Environmental Management and Urban Horticulture) and as a graduate student (Plant & Soil Interactions). She has a keen interest in soil sciences, which lead her to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver for doctoral studies in soil carbon sequestration and movement within British Columbia’s clear-cut soils. Further work in soil sciences in Europe and Canada reinforced Dr. Philip’s belief that soil processes and mechanisms belowground drive aboveground aesthetics and plant interactions. While active in both research, mentorship and teaching, most recently Dr. Philip has been working in applied soil sciences in industry and community outreach. Dr. Philip is a native of southern Ontario and is a strong advocate for scientific literacy within her community and responsible environmental stewardship.

One Comment

  1. Linda Esposito June 21, 2018 at 11:55 am - Reply

    Dr. Philip,

    Having accumulated years of gardening experience, I have found that prompt weeding along with newspaper/cardboard mulch has helped control weeds.

    However, I suppose it depends on one’s tolerance of weeds since some are beneficial to the soil, some could be used as food, and some support pollinators.

    Thank you for sharing.

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