Weeding, what a chore! We would like to be able to eliminate weeds once and for all (without chemicals). We know that this is just wishful thinking. But here are six techniques that will make the job easier.
When removed at the right time, some plants do not come back: this is the case for veronicas, lady’s mantle, shaggy cardamine, ceratius or vetches if they are removed in the fall. Other species already present in March, such as daisies, dock (including sorrel), giant hogweed, umbellifers or cleavers, are sensitive to early season mowing. Thistles, on the other hand, will disappear if cut once in May and once in summer.Install a mat to keep out unwanted guests
This non-woven polypropylene mat is to be installed when making a terrace, or a stony or even paved path. It allows water to pass through, but will block the roots. If a seed germinates between the stones, it will not develop for long because its roots will not be able to plunge into the ground. This mat lasts a good ten years. It can also be used to plant a hedge. You can also use it to plant a hedge by making crosswise incisions to install the plants through it if they are small in size. Available in garden centers.
Weed at the right time
When removed at the right time, some plants do not come back: this is the case for veronicas, lady’s mantle, shaggy cardamine, ceratius or vetches if they are removed in the fall. Other species already present in March, such as daisies, dock (including sorrel), giant hogweed, umbellifers or cleavers, are sensitive to early season mowing. Thistles, on the other hand, will disappear if cut once in May and once in summer.
Plant green manures for weed control
This technique is especially useful in the vegetable garden or for a bed invaded by weeds. Weed is removed, then levelled, raked and a green manure is sown. As early as the end of June, you can sow phacelia, mustard, buckwheat or spring vetch, which you will cut two or three months later. In the fall, you can sow rye or vetch and cut it in the spring. Sow buckwheat in the summer and cut it in November.
Remove young seedlings
It is a question of eliminating any seedling at a very young stage, during a whole season. This type of warfare is especially valid for the toughest plants, for example, bindweed and the terrible oxalis. These plants are particularly difficult to dislodge.
The bindweed produces roots of more than 5 m long, which it is capable of partitioning if a part is reached by weed killer. Only a few of them will die and the others will be able to start again. The oxalis, on the other hand, produces hundreds of tiny bulbils, each of which is capable of making a new plant.
In a soil invaded by these undesirable plants, do not use a rototiller or a tiller: each piece of root cut or each bulblet dispersed gives a new plant.
Spread a black tarp
This technique is used primarily when redoing a vegetable garden bed or a flower bed, both of which are heavily overgrown with weeds. Weed as best you can, but not necessarily thoroughly, and cover the soil with an opaque plastic sheet, old carpet or several layers of cardboard covered with compost or 30 cm of dead leaves, for one or even two full seasons. The toughest weeds will exhaust themselves as they search in vain for light. The cardboard and compost method has the advantage of enriching the soil (the cardboard disappears in one season, recycled into humus by earthworms).