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You work hard to provide a healthy environment for your plants to grow. You do your research about each and every plant, choose the perfect sunny spot, and fertilize and water regularly. But, as you watch your efforts pay off, you might notice other plants are benefiting too: weeds. In addition to being unsightly, weeds steal vital nutrients from your plants. Learn how to prevent weeds in your garden to help your plants grow bigger and stronger.
How to Prevent Weeds in Your Garden
Start with New Soil or Soilless Media
Just like some of your perennials, weeds and seeds can go dormant during different times of the year and pop up again when the weather is right. To prevent weeds from popping up in your garden bed, it’s a good idea to start with new soil or a soilless media mix. This clean slate ensures you aren’t dealing with weeds of years past.
While starting with new soil is better than reusing last year’s, a soilless media mix is your best opportunity for a weed-free garden. When you use inorganic media like perlite, vermiculite, and diatomaceous earth, there is a lower threat of organisms and unwanted components that might be present in soil media options.
Use a Weed Barrier
Before placing down your new soil for the growing season, use a weed barrier to prevent any lingering weeds from popping up under your crops. Some people use a landscape fabric that completely separates the original soil from the new. More budget-friendly options include flattened cardboard and layered newspaper. Be sure to not leave any space between the old and new layers of soil.
Pull Weeds by Hand
It’s important to take care of weeds as soon as they pop up because they can spread quickly, especially once they go to seed. Carefully pull weeds out of your garden by hand, ensuring you get the entirety of the root. Some weeds spread through underground runners, which are roots that connect underground. If these weeds get out of control, the runners can intertwine with your plants’ roots and stunt growth.
Don’t Let Any Soil Space Go to Waste
An easy way to invite weeds to your garden is to leave them space to grow. You can protect your garden bed by making sure there isn’t an open spot for them to settle. There are a few ways you can limit space without suffocating your plants:
- Keep soil covered. While mulch is a great choice during the growing season, there are some other options during the times of the year when your plant bed is inactive. Some people choose to cover their flower beds with straw or shredded leaves.
- Plant companion crops close together. Some plants grow better together. For example, many people like to plant basil and tomatoes together for better, healthier growth. There are many other companion planting options for your vegetable garden.
- Use cover crops. Plant fast-growing, dense cover crops in your garden to take up root space from weeds. Buckwheat is a great option in this application because it grows quickly and crowds out weeds.
Once your plants are in-ground and popping out of soil (if growing by seed), protect your soil from intruders by applying a layer of mulch. This will help prevent new, unwanted seeds from settling in the soil of your garden bed. Plus, any seeds that haven’t sprouted yet won’t have as much access to sunlight, stunting growth.
Bonus: Mulch can also help you save money on water by locking in moisture!
Inspect New Plants before Adding Them to Your Garden
You might be eager to plant your new plants right away, but it’s important to inspect them, first. Take a look around the bottom of the plant to see if there are any signs of weeds hitching a ride. You might spot unusual foliage or roots that look out of place.
Give Your Plants the Best Start with Harvest Hero
Harvest Hero Enhanced Perlite Mix is a nutrient-rich soilless amendment and growing medium that is a 3-in-1 blend comprised of perlite, diatomaceous earth, and essential nutrients. This patent-pending mix has been designed by Harvest Hero’s team of engineers and agronomists to improve soil structure for nutrition which promotes bigger plants and bigger yields. Harvest Hero Enhanced Perlite Mix will meet your plants’ needs throughout the first critical 6 weeks of growth by improving soil quality, providing plant nutrients, and amending soil properties to make it easier for the plant to absorb and translocate essential plant nutrients to the root system.
Consisting of domestically sourced perlite, diatomaceous earth, and essential nutrients, Harvest Hero’s 3-in-1 Enhanced Perlite Mix is unlike anything on the market. Try it today and see the difference a Hero makes in your home garden!