How to Prevent Weeds in Flower Beds
Nothing is as frustrating as the constant battle to eradicate weeds from flowerbeds. If you were to track the time you spend gardening, you would realize that you spend a lot of the time weeding. Weeds are not only hideous, but they deprive your plants of essential nutrients .
What makes the situation worse is that weeds are endowed with characteristics that make them spread easily, such as:
- Quick germination and establishment
- Can take up high traffic spots
- Seeds stay dormant for prolonged periods
- A high rate of seed production
Here is how you can prevent weeds in your flowerbeds.
Plant Flowers Close Together
Have you ever wondered why flowers in big pots rarely get weedy yet your spacious flower bed does? Flowers you plant in pots are closely spaced, while those in beds are widely spaced. When you space them widely apart, you leave room for weeds to germinate. So, as you are making your flower beds, make sure you don’t leave lots of space between the plants.
Now that you know that planting every inch of your garden won’t leave any space for weeds to grow, it’s time to get creative. Filing your flower bed will leave it looking lush and unified. Rather than planting big plants only, consider including some ground cover flowers. For instance, you can grow several clamps of Japanese sedge grass alongside strew seeds of Cineraria. The former can get to 12 inches tall while the latter grows up to 9 inches.
Cultivate With Caution
There is no way to avoid hand cultivation or tiling when creating a new garden bed. It’s the ideal way of aerating the soil and incorporating organic material in the ground. There are buried weed seeds under the surface of the land. Placing them at the top of the ground activates and boosts them into germination.
Destroy Weeds Before They Thrive
If you don’t want to have weeds in your garden, you should start by ensuring that the soil you use to plant is free of weed seeds. Check if the plants you buy have any weeds growing on the sides. If there are any, uproot them before planting the flowers. Also, ensure that any organic material and compost you purchase is well-aged because if it isn’t, weed seeds might be alive.
Cover the Soil
After planting flowers, cover the soil immediately with cardboard or eight layers of newspapers. Avoid using black plastic or landscape fabric because when weeds start growing through these materials, they are hard to remove. Cardboard and newspapers are relatively affordable, and they enrich your soil when they decompose.
Use a Pre-Emergent
If you prefer stopping weeds from growing in the first place, you can consider going the chemical-application route. Pre-emergent herbicides prevent weeds from germinating. They are made to target particular combinations of weeds and their families. All you need is to apply the pre-emergent chemical on your garden before the seeds start germinating. Do this during early spring or after digging. Pre-emergent is activated by water, which means that you should give the area a proper soak after application.
Consider Soil Solarization
Heating the soil to destroy weeds and their seeds before planting flowers is a fantastic idea for gardeners with large fields and lots of time. Cultivate the land, rake, and water it. Now, cover the flower bed with a heavy-gauge plastic to keep it in place. Make sure that the surrounding area stays moist. It will take eight weeks for the heat to destroy weeds.
Young plants from the nursery might introduce new weeds to your flower bed. Weed seeds spread pretty fast, and it won’t be long before they cover the entire garden. Always inspect new transplants to ensure that they don’t introduce undesirable friends. In case you spot sprouts and seeds, pull them out before transplanting them into your farm.
Use Chemical Lawn Fertilizer with Weed Control
A fertilized lawn has fewer weeds because a healthy lawn is dense, and it leaves little space for unwanted plants to thrive. Therefore, fertilizing the garden and applying a weed preventer keeps the predators at bay. Some products combine fertilizers and weed control chemicals, making them highly effective.
A natural and effective option for preventing weeds from taking over your flower garden is to mulch. Use a thick layer of organic mulch that is about two inches deep in the garden. Be cautious to avoid hurting the base of the individual shrubs and plants. The mulch will help to preserve moisture and smother out any weeds. It will also make the soil hostile towards weed seeds. While inorganic mulches last longer, they don’t decompose to create a healthy soil environment for flowers.
Create a Drought
When you water the entire flower bed, you enable open spaces to become the ideal breeding ground for weeds. Consider depriving weeds of water by using a hose to add moisture only where it is required – at the base of the plants. That way, you will have narrowed down where weeds can pop up.