Image: Straw used as mulch to suppress weeds, hold in moisture, and break down into soil. Credit: Jurga Jot/Shutterstock
Encourage weeds to grow before you plant your garden. Lay sheets of clear plastic over your garden in early spring to warm up the soil and encourage weeds to germinate. Once the weeds are several inches above the soil, pull or hoe them out. Then plant your own crops.
3. Pull Them Out or Dig Them Up
Some folks say it helps to weed at night! No kiddling. Research indicates that weeds may be stimulated to grow by a sudden flash of light, which is what you give them when you turn the soil over during the day. A German study concluded that by turning the soil at night, weed germination could be reduced by as much as 78 percent! You can try this method by working under a full Moon, or at dawn or dusk.
This works best, of course, when you are starting a new garden bed or a new garden space. Watch Janice Stillman, editor of The Old Farmer’s Almanac lay down a few layers of newspaper, wet it, adds mulch on the edges of the newspaper, and dumps compost on top of the newspaper bed! You’ll love having almost no weeds to contend with and as a bonus it helps build the soil. It couldn’t get any easier than this.
By getting rid of weeds (unwanted plants) springing up in your vegetable garden, you stop weeds from removing vital nutrients from the soil. If you find that weeding is taking up the majority of time in your garden, here are some simple techniques to help you reduce the time spent weeding AND increase the amount you harvest from your vegetable garden!
I lived next to an old lady who ended up with weed growing in her front yard. Her neighbor on the other side was a city policeman. My neighbor on the other side was a DEA agent. They had a bit of fun with her over that.
I know this because I ran into the guy planted the ones out front a couple of years later. Turns out he went to summer school and recognized what my plants were, and actually got a little yield off them.
Did that at my high school last semester right before graduation. My environmental science class had planted a garden and I added my own seeds, then flagged them as tomatoes.
Or make 'em rich
Coincidentally someone else planted recognizable seedlings next to the school sign at the road. His got ripped out, but mine out back near the football field didn't.