You’ve planned the perfect flower bed, edged it with precision and planted gorgeous color, but you’ve found your first sign of weeds. What to do now? Enjoying a beautiful garden comes with its share of regular maintenance, including removing unwanted plants. This chore can be a little time consuming, but with the right tools, techniques and preventative measures, you can make weeding your garden a little simpler.
The Right Tools
As tempting as it may be to grab the weed eater and slice it all to the ground, you’d be remiss in using the wrong tools. Weeds are tricky and oftentimes grow interspersed with your flowers and ornate plants. For a good weeding session, you’ll want to have the following items nearby:
- Hand shovel or trowel
- Forked weeding tool
- Garden hoe - bonus if it includes prongs or tines on the opposite side
- Knee pad or garden kneeler
The Right Time
Removing weeds as seedlings seems to be the simplest approach in timing your efforts. Not only will the roots be smaller, making them easier to pull, but you’ll also be one step ahead of weed germination. All annual weeds will go through several seeding cycles, but the trick is to remove them before they seed and ideally before they even flower to keep them from spreading additional weed seeds.
When removing weeds, you may be unsure as to whether the new sprout growing in your garden is a weed or the start of the bulbs you planted in the winter. Get familiar with common weeds in your area or use an online plant ID tool to identify weeds versus flowers.
You’ll want the soil to be moist before you begin weeding. The best time to weed is right after a rain or on the same day as your sprinkler schedule. Be careful not to disturb too much soil, as digging and tilling can bring hidden weed seeds to the surface. Weed seeds can remain dormant in soil for quite a long while, but once they find their way to the top 1-2” of soil, you may find yourself with even more weeds in your future.
The Right Technique
Start with a small section or plot at a time. Using your gloves and hand shovel or forked tool, loosen the soil around the weed and pull the entire plant, roots and all, from the ground. For shallow weeds, such as crabgrass, you may be able to use only your hands. For deep rooted weeds such as dandelions or dock weed, the forked weeding tool or hand shovel will be needed to get the full root system out of the soil.
If the soil is more dry or you have clustered ground cover type weeds such as spurge or clover, now is the time to stand up and use your garden hoe. Chop the weeds from the underside to lift them by the roots.
Having a bucket nearby will allow you to collect the unwanted weeds as you go, and not risk dropping additional weed seed back into your garden. Bag or dispose of your weeds at the end of the project.
The Right Prevention
Mulch is an outstanding weed preventative as it keeps the soil cool, helps retain moisture, and blocks out the sunlight for potential weed seeds. After you’ve weeded each section of your beds, apply mulch about 2 includes deep over all exposed areas. Keep the mulch from coming in direct contact with the stems of your flowering plants to help prevent rot.
If just talking about pulling weeds makes you exhausted, trust OneNeighbor’s landscape experts, who will carefully remove all of your pesky flower bed weeds by hand. We’ll help get your yard ready for spring with our weed pulling and mulch installation services. If you have weeds in your lawn, we recommend setting up a fertilization and weed control schedule. See how OneNeighbor can help with your lawn care in Dallas/ Fort Worth, TX, Tampa Bay, FL and Houston, TX.