Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Friday, June 05, 2009

Weed Control

May 29, 2009

If you haven't seen a dandelion in your yard then you either don't have a yard or your yard is chemically treated. The Ontario Pesticide Ban is now in effect so some consumers are now concerned they will not be able to control weeds in the yards. Round-up® a chemical herbicide that some relied on heavily can now only be used to control poison ivy and you have to sign a waiver to that effect. The reality is these heavy-handed chemical herbicides are simply not necessary for most home applications. In the very rare case perhaps but weeds can be effectively controlled in most cases without resorting to chemicals. Here's a few effective ways to control weeds in your yard:

  1. identify the edible weeds - Keeping chemicals out of your yard will allow you to harvest the edible weeds. This is an eco-friendly way to extend your food dollars.
  2. wild rabbits - If you have wild rabbits in your area, protect your vegetable garden and tulips but otherwise allow them free reign in your yard. The rabbits like to eat the weeds but not the grass so they will help keep your weeds in check. They are especially fond of clover!
  3. manual removal - Manually digging, pulling or cutting weeds is about as effective as you can get. Try to remove them before they go to seed. If you remove a few weeds each time you are in your yard, it won't be long before you have them under control.
  4. choke weeds out - Each time you manually dig a weed from your yard, add a little soil to the spot and spread grass seed assuming you want grass as a ground cover. Seed in the spring and the fall. If the weather calls for a wet spell seed before it hits. What this does is form a dense grass bed that essentially chokes out weeds. If you are using other ground cover such as snow in summer or Irish moss, keep it dense. The denser the better to prevent weeds.
  5. boiling water - Heat your kettle to boiling the pour a little boiling water on the weed you want to kill. The effects are pretty much immediate! This is particularly effective for weeds growing in pavement cracks and between patio pavers.
  6. black plastic - If you have a patch of weeds you want to destroy wait for a warm, sunny, dry day. Lay black plastic garbage bags in a single layer over the patch. Anchor with a couple of stones to hold the plastic down. Leave on until evening letting the heat of the sun on the plastic kill off the weeds. Remove the dead weeds.
  7. salt - Salt can be an effective weed control but should be used sparingly and in confined areas as it can also kill other plants. Residual salt will spread to other areas with rain as well. Do not use for weed control in vegetable or flower beds. Use it in solution.
  8. vinegar - Plain white vinegar is an effective herbicide. Pour or spray undiluted vinegar directly on the weeds you want to destroy. Do not use in vegetable or flower beds.
  9. blow torch - A blow torch can be used to quickly and effectively kill weeds. Do not use it for weeds growing through cracks in asphalt or for destroying poison ivy.
  10. leaf blower - Companies that seal asphalt driveways use a high powered leaf blower to blow weeds out of cracks in the pavement. This is surprisingly very effective.
  11. prevention - Preventing weed problems goes a long way for weed control. Before putting down mulch or garden paths, cover with a thick layer of newspaper or cardboard. Both will break down into the soil while providing weed control. Don't compost weeds that have gone to seed. Apply your weed control measures before the weeds to to seed.
Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome


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