|Yellow pear tomatoes|
First, I'll present my brilliant, time-saving weeding revelation. I don't have to weed the paths in the vegetable garden. I can get someone to weed eat the area once a week or so to keep the weeds short so they can't go to seed. I think it will look nicer to have a green path instead of plain dirt. Oh, and then all of the clippings will compost on their own and I can rake them up onto the beds in the spring. Two wins with one simple solution, I hope!
|Squash mulched with weeds|
I am experimenting with using the weeds we pull as mulch instead of making compost. So far, I like the results. The soil stays moist and the weeds slowly decompose and add nutrients back to the soil. Keeping the soil covered also keeps more weeds from growing and helps the plants stay cooler in the heat. It's a great natural method.
|It takes a lot of weeds to make a weed suppressing mulch.|
One side effect I have noticed was a large spider who was living in the mulch. He ran out onto the sidewalk while I was watering. I would suggest wearing gloves if you are going to grub around in the soil.
I started my tomatoes with a thick mulch of hay and they are taking the heat really well. They have not wilted once and are loaded with fruit. The mulch keeps the soil evenly moist so the tomatoes always have the water they need and I only have to water once a week. It makes my job so much easier. I also think the mulch looks nicer than bare soil or weeds.
|The same bed 1/2 mulched, 1/2 left bare. I have not pulled weeds from either side all season. That's a tomato in the center of the mulched side.|
I also like to use a living mulch to keep the weeds under control. Sweet alyssum works well in the flower beds. I do have to thin it out every once in awhile to give the other plants room.
How do you keep the weeds in your gardens under control? I would love to hear any tips you have!