Weeding 101

I’ve been home for 3 days, and the gardens grew beyond my wildest expectations. So did the weeds. Every free moment I have, I am outside pulling weeds like a banchee.

While pulling my lovely weeds, I catagorize them into two groups…seeding and non-seeding. Stay with me, folks. Talking about weeds can be utterly boring, *but* it can also be an enjoyable part of your garden.

I really just said that……….

Here’s the trick. Let your weeds start bringing value to your garden.

First, let’s talk about weeds that are currently re-seeding. If there is a delightful flower with the weed, LEAVE THE FLOWER ALONE AND ENJOY THE NATURAL RANDOMNESS. I’m actually a huge flowering “weed” lover. Infact, some of my favorite flowers are actually considered weeds. Bees and butterflies love the native, flowering weeds that magically appear in the garden. I like to think that flowering weeds are God’s way of letting me know who is really in control of my garden. Nature is always the king, and I’m just the lowly garden peasant caring for the natural beauty set before me.

But……if the weed is an intrusive grass, sticker, thorn or not important to the eco-system, start yanking them out. Infact, start yesterday. Re-seeding weeds must go directly into the trash. Don’t even to try the old vinegar trick, or use Round-up or any another type of weed killer. Just pull those suckers right up, and throw them in the trash. Removing weeds will allow the other plants in your garden to thrive. It’s the simple rule of economics and the non-competitive clause. I look at a weed as something that steals good nutrients from other plants from the soil up. Removing the re-seeding weed will, over time, halt the weed cycle.

The other category of weeds is the non-seeding weed. I love this kind of weed. This weed literally becomes food for your garden. I’ve written about the beautiful art of garden piling before. Here is a brief overview….

Piling is actually just a minature composting pile in the middle of the garden. Piles exist in my garden where the soil is tough, full of weeds or simply a bare place that is resting. Unless you have a full time gardener who pulls weeds all day, there will always be problem spots in your garden. In these spots, I let nature heal itself from the bottom up, while inhibiting other weeds from taking over.

To start piling, lay some leaves or dead debris on the soil first. Simply start piling those good weeds on top. My garden piles are small and non-obtrusive. Piles can become like mulch around special plants. Worms will enjoy the cooler temperatures under your piles, and will come to the soil surface to eat the delicious decaying weeds. Worm castings are gold to a gardener. Worm castings feed your plants while improving the soil. Voila!! Your weeds have just become a natural food supplier for your favored plant!

Weeding 101….in a nut shell.

Don’t be at odds with your weeds. Weeding can be a delightful experience. Really….it can.

Happy Gardening, my weed-pulling, weed-piling, compost-loving friends!