Nowadays, vegetable gardening at home is among the favourite pastimes of many people. It allows people to reap the vegetables that they sow throughout the season. All in all, they see the results of their hard work in real-time.
However, growing vegetables in your home garden come with its challenges. Apart from the insects and plant diseases that you may have to deal with, weeds in the vegetable garden can also be a major cause of concern.
This is because weeds in the home vegetable garden can not only take up space but also steal the water and nutrients from the crops. As a result of this, your vegetable plants will end up developing a deficiency of nutrients, which will in turn affect the crop yield.
- Natural ways To Remove Weed in Vegetable Garden
- Slowing the Growth and Spread of Existing Weeds
- Wrap Up
Natural ways To Remove Weed in Vegetable Garden
So, are you wondering how to get rid of weeds in vegetable gardens naturally? Well, you have come to the right place. In this article, we have put together several natural ways to get rid of weeds.
In this section, we look at several weed removal methods that you can use. These are all-natural and do not pose any risks to other plants in your vegetable garden.
Use Natural Weed Killers
According to most vegetable garden experts, post-emergent herbicides are very useful in killing weeds. If you do not want to expose your plants to chemical products, then using organic herbicides is the best option.
These solutions target specific weeds and kill them. Furthermore, they come in the form of both foliage and granules.
Generally, two types of natural weed killers are available in the market. These include systemic formulas and contact formulas. Systemic formulas directly get absorbed into the plant and work on perennial weeds the best.
On the other hand, contact formulas kill the exposed areas of the weeds and are the most effective for smaller weeds. Organic options such as the Avenger Organics Weed Killer Concentrate contain citric acid, clove/oils, acetic acids, and a range of other organic ingredients that are not harmful to other plants.
Digging and Pulling
Digging and pulling is one of the simplest yet most time-consuming methods. Of course, you do not necessarily have to pull the weeds by hand. Instead, you can find several weeding tools in the market. To look at different options, go to your nearest hardware or gardening store.
In this method, the key is to dig out the roots and not just the weed itself. This especially applies when you are dealing with perennial weeds. That is because perennial weeds can easily grow again from the roots.
However, if you are willing to sacrifice some time and energy, then digging and pulling using a weeding tool can be an effective method. Though, this will not prevent any new weeds from growing in your vegetable garden.
Chop Off the Heads
If it is not practical for you to pull the weeds out of the garden, the best that you can do is to chop their heads off. This method prevents the weeds from seeding. And so, they are unable to stop.
Eventually, the existing weeds simply die off. However, this method does not guarantee the prevention of new growth. After all, all that you are doing is preventing the weeds in your garden from seeding. However, seeds from external sources can also make their way into your garden.
Nevertheless, to chop off the heats of existing weeds, all your need is a gardening scissor. Though, maintain precautions while using such sharp tools.
Keep Plants Close
One of the most effective yet long-term methods to kill existing weeds is to close the plant spacing. This way, the spaces between your plants will not get adequate sunlight. As a result of this, weeds will not grow in these areas.
Due to this method, any existing weeds between these spaces will also eventually die off. However, this is a long-term method of weed removal. So, it may as well fall under good vegetable gardening practices.
For all future plantations, make sure that the spacing is optimal. You also do not want to sow seeds too close. Otherwise, the plants will not survive well.
When you are watering the plants, make sure that you are doing it very selectively. In this case, your goal would be to deprive the weeds of water. Eventually, the weeds will die. But at the same time, you would want your vegetable plants to receive an adequate amount of water.
For this purpose, putting droughts in your garden may help. Furthermore, if you have installed a mulch, then place soaker hoses beneath can help deprive nearby weeds of water.
However, some perennial weeds with deep roots can also grow in less moist areas that are not watered frequently. While this tip is not going to get rid of all weeds, it can certainly create a difference.
This is one of the most effective methods of claiming all the weed-infested areas back. Furthermore, this is an organic method in which you make use of the sun’s heat to burn up the weeds. At the same time, this method also kills several insects, fungi, bacteria, and other soil organisms.
However, this method may also kill some good organisms. After all, the sun’s heat cannot differentiate between what is good for your vegetable garden and what is not.
While you already have weeds in your garden, you certainly would not want the problem to become much worse. Most weeds grow fast and seed a lot. This gives rise to other weeds in the area. So, landscape fabric can help you with the problem of seeding.
The main purpose of a weed control fabric (landscape fabric) is to prevent the weed seeds from getting to the soil. However, before carrying this process, make sure that you have thoroughly removed the existing weeds by hand.
Furthermore, experts also recommend doing solarization before purring on landscape fabric. However, weed control fabric may make your vegetable garden look unattractive. However, this combined with some mulch such as cedar can improve the aesthetics of your lawn.
On top of that, Cedar has insect-repelling properties and does not break down as far as other wood mulches. Hence, it could be a great option for you.
Burn Them All
Well, one of the simplest yet highly effective methods to kill weeds, is to burn them. For this, you can use a propane torch that is designed to kill weeds. However, with this method, you need to be extremely cautious.
Otherwise, you will end up damaging other nearby plants. However, the best thing about most backpack type torches is that they have adjustment options that allow you to set the flame.
For instance, to reach smaller weeds, you can make the flame narrower and increase/decrease the target range. This way, you can safely and effectively operate a propane torch to burn the weeds.
While this method may sound fun, it is also dangerous in some situations. We do not recommend you use this method if you have treated your garden recently with a chemical/organic supplement. After all, you would not want to set up your entire vegetable garden on fire.
Improve Your Garden Design
Yet another important tip is to design your garden intelligently. This will help you in preventing the growth of weeds in the first place. For instance, use varieties of plants that are resistant to diseases and fungal infections.
This way, you may space the plants closer without risking any damages to them. As a result of this, the weeds will not have enough room to grow.
At the same time, maintain plants with varying heights. Essentially, you must be looking at layers that can provide shade to the soil. As a result of this, the germination of new weed seeds will become unlikely due to an unfavourable environment.
Create A Barrier with Newspapers
This is yet another simple yet highly effective tip that will prevent weeds from germinating. In specific, you should create newspaper barriers in areas where the weeds are the most likely to germinate.
However, for this, make sure that you are using newspapers with matte prints. Glossy ones may contain unfavourable elements. Before installing the mulch, cover the entire bed with some wet newspaper.
After that, cover the newspapers with some leaf compost (at least two inches thick) before planting. For that, you can simply make a slit in the newspaper and plant through it. Though, make sure that you are using weed-free mulch on the newspaper.
Be Wary of Importing Plants
In many cases, weeds make their way into the vegetable garden from outside. So, before importing plants into your garden from outside, ensure that there are no weed issues. If seeds get introduced into your garden along with it, you may as well run into problems with weed.
So, when you are buying plants from the nurseries, only choose the most well-reputed nurseries. Good nurseries typically take care of such issues beforehand, along with other plant diseases.
Lastly, tarping is a desperate measure that you may have to take for the toughest of all weeds. In specific, this method is preferable to control perennial weeds such as the Japanese knotweed, Canada thistle, and bindweeds.
In this method, you first cut the existing weeds to the very edge just above the soil’s surface. Make sure that no sprout is poking out of the soil. Of course, the more precise you are, the better this method will work.
Then, apply a dark tarp on the area, while making sure that it is completely covering the edges. Let it sit for some months. Eventually, the roots of the weeds will become starved and the weeds will die.
However, this method may reduce soil life. Hence, we call it a desperate measure which you should only use for fast-spreading and tougher species.
Slowing the Growth and Spread of Existing Weeds
By this point, we hope that you have learned how to get rid of weeds in vegetable gardens naturally. Now, let us discuss the three most effective ways to slow the growth and spread of existing weeds. These include:
Repeat Actions Multiple Times
When it comes to weed removal, the single-most-important principle is that you must stay at it! In most cases, if you are naturally trying to get rid of the weed, it will not be a one-time thing. Instead, you will have to repeat the actions for a while.
But the good news is that follow-ups are usually not as draining and time-intensive as the first-time hard work.
Cut Off Photosynthesis
Do not forget that weeds are plants too. So, essentially, you are dealing with a form that relies on sunlight for growth, just like your vegetable plants. Even though some weeds keep growing on the root level, they all require energy from sunlight.
So, if you repeatedly keep removing the leaves from the weed stems that are sprouting, the plant will eventually become weak. After a while, the weed will not be able to survive anymore. This may require some patience along with regular follow-ups though.
Do not Let Weeds Set Their Seeds
While this tip may not necessarily remove the existing weeds in your vegetable garden, it will certainly help stop their spread. You see, weeds are very aggressive plants that spread quickly and flower a lot. Perhaps, that is why they fall under the category of weed in the first place.
For instance, Sow-thistle may be able to produce up to 25000 seeds in its lifecycle. On the other hand, Chickweed produces up to 3000 seeds in its 7 weeks lifecycle. Just imagine the number of seeds multiple chickweed plants will produce throughout the year.
Removal of weeds from a vegetable garden is incredibly important. These invasive species not only steal the nutrients from your vegetable plants, but also make them void of enough water. So, you must thoroughly understand the harms that weeds cause to the plants in your vegetable garden.
Once you realize its importance, you may start taking steps for weed removal using the steps that we have mentioned in this article.
All the tips in this article are easy to follow and do not require high expertise, training, or special tools (except the basic prerequisites). So, you can consider weed removal as a DIY project for the weekend. Though, you can always hire a gardening expert for assistance and advice.