8 Ways to Keep Weeds Out of New Flowerbeds
Keeping weeds out of a new flower garden is a necessary task. Of course, keeping them away makes the garden look cleaner and more beautiful. It also minimizes the competition for water and nutrients between the weeds and your plants. While there are many ways to prevent them from growing in your new flowerbed, you have to be diligent. Here are eight ways to get you started.
Destroy Weeds Before They Invade Your Flowerbed
Make sure the soil you are using does not contain seeds. If you start your plants from seedlings, ensure that they do not have weeds growing along with them. If you notice any, toss them out. Using well-aged compost or manure will help as well.
Try Soil Solarization
Soil solarization involves heating the soil to kill weeds and their seeds before planting your flowers. Till the dirt, rake, and water. Cover it using a dark, plastic sheet. Put weight on the edges of the sheet to prevent it from blowing away with the wind. To improve the efficiency of soil solarization, make sure the soil is smooth and has adequate moisture. It will take around two months for the soil to be hot enough to kill them.
Use a Weed Barrier
A weed barrier — typically made of poly propylene or polyester — is a burlap-like fabric designed to keep out weeds. It typically lasts about 5 years. Weed barriers reduce the number of weeds and still allow water, fertilizer and oxygen to filter through to the plant, making it a very popular choice for weed management.
Mulch Your Plants
Mulch deprives weeds of sunlight. If you spread mulch and there are weeds in the soil, they will not germinate. The mulch should be at least six inches deep. Mulching comes with other benefits, too, like moisture retention and preventing soil erosion. It also provides nutrients to your flowers after it decomposes. You can use organic or synthetic mulch materials, including grass or wood chips.
Plant Flowers Close to Each Other
Growing flowers near others will provide shade to the soil between them and kill emerging weeds. It’s best to plant a combination of annuals and perennials to prevent the growth of the weeds. Close planting helps in water retention too.
Uproot Weeds Using Your Hands or Other Gardening Tools
Uprooting can be exhausting and time-consuming, especially if your flowerbed is large. However, uprooting works. Uproot them regularly, especially when they are small. After uprooting the small ones, the sun will kill the seedlings and their roots. Be sure to wash your tools after each session to avoid transferring seeds to other areas of your garden.
Plant Perennial Groundcovers
Perennial groundcovers prevent weeds from growing. Make sure that the plants you use do not grow taller than your featured flowers. The perennial groundcovers also provide a show of different colors and make your flower bed more attractive.
Use Herbicides When Appropriate
Using chemical herbicides can be useful for weed management. However, some of them contain harmful chemicals that can be dangerous to children and pets. And, if you do not apply the herbicides correctly, they can damage your flowers as well. It is essential to read the usage instructions carefully before using herbicides.
The Best Plan to Control Weeds
Fall is a great time to take a look at your flower beds and make sure you’re set up with a solid gardening plan to keep weeds away. Starting with a weed-free flower bed will make your landscaping work easier. From there, the best plan uses a combination of the methods discussed above.
And if you have additional questions, you can ask your local garden center or pop into the PlantTAGG app and use our ‘Ask an Expert’ feature. If you’re not already signed up, text ‘PLANTS’ to 46376 today. It’s free to use with nothing to download or install. Once you get set up, we’ll help you keep weeds away, and make sure you know exactly when to water, prune and fertilize so that your garden thrives.