Time spent on weeding and weed prevention in early spring is an investment in the garden’s productivity. Weeds outcompete tiny vegetable and flower seedlings, robbing them of moisture, nutrients, and sunlight. Here’s how to give your seedlings the upper hand:
- Weed regularly before weeds get big.
- Never let weeds go to seed.
- Sow seeds in straight rows, making it easier to distinguish weeds from desirable seedlings.
- Find a weeding tool that works for your style of gardening: scuffle hoe, hand cultivator, dandelion fork, etc.
- Blanket bare earth with weed-stifling mulch, such as straw, shredded leaves, dry grass clippings, compost, or wood chips.
- Avoid bringing weed-infested hay or animal manure into the garden.
- Keep weed seeds out of the compost pile.
Diligence is the gardener’s most powerful tool against weeds. Deal with weeds as soon as they appear. In future years, you’ll be able to spend less time weeding because your garden soil will harbor fewer weed seeds.