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IPFS News Link • Agriculture

Weed-free gardening: 4 tips for effective weed control

• Natural News - Davina Ramirez

Fortunately, there are many ways to get rid of weeds and prevent them from coming back without having to use toxic chemicals. Survey your garden for any weeds and consider the following strategies:

1. Mulch garden bed

Bare soil in the garden is an open invitation for weeds to take root. Weed seeds are always being blown into your garden. Insects and birds also drop them into your garden. Those seeds become weeds if they germinate. But to do so, they first need to find their way to the soil surface. This is where mulch comes in.

Mulch benefits plants by keeping the soil cool and moist. At the same time, mulch deprives weeds of light. Organic mulch can even host beneficial insects, such as crickets and beetles, that feed on weed seeds.

However, mulching will only be effective if you do it right. Some light can still pass through chunky mulches. If you discover this too late, chances are the mulch you used is already laced with weed seeds. Therefore, it's important to replenish the layer of mulch. Generally, your mulch should be two to three inches deep. (Related: Want bigger, healthier potatoes? Use straw mulch; it improves soil quality and suppresses weeds.)

2. Stop disturbing the soil

Tilling is important because it allows you to mix organic matter into the soil, break up crusted soil or loosen small areas for planting. But you don't need to till or break up the soil very often as this can damage the soil.