May 30, 2017

How to have a weed-free garden

Are weeds overtaking your garden? Try this amazing method for growing a beautiful, naturally weed-free garden for years to come!

Weeds, weeds, weeds! This time of year, they are growing like, well, weeds… For many gardeners, weeds are the most frustrating (and time-consuming) part of gardening.

If you have a weed problem, you may have tried a variety of mulches and ground covers to help reduce your weed population. Some mulches (such as hay and straw) may look nice, but don’t do enough to keep the more stubborn weeds from popping right through.

Landscape cloth or plastic mulches may work well for controlling weeds, but can prevent proper air and water circulation in your soil, and may inhibit the growth of your garden crops.

Lately I have been learning a lot about a really simple, effective, and (sometimes) even free method of controlling weeds in your garden.

It’s called…Wood Chips!

We have just begun using wood chips in our garden this year for mulching the aisles between our raised beds. Not only do they look really nice, but they help absorb the excess water that stands in the aisles and gets swampy every time it rains, AND we are free of the ongoing work of constantly mowing and/or hand-weeding our garden pathways all spring and summer long!

You don’t even have to make sure the area is weed-free before adding your wood chips. Simply pile several inches of wood chips onto the area, and the weeds will die and decompose into the soil over the next few days.

The article below explains more about how to use this unique and all-natural material to grow a weed-free garden, reduce work, and improve your soil and crop health!

While mixing wood chips into your soil is a BIG NO-NO (it will compete for nitrogen and starve your plants’ roots), keeping a nice THICK layer of wood chips on top is exactly what your garden needs to get rid of those garden weeds.

And the best part?

That layer of wood chips will slowly break down, providing an amazing boost to the plants by encouraging microbial activity, reducing insect activity & disease, reducing the need for fertilizer, helping retain moisture, keeping the soil soft, and more.

How to apply wood chips to your garden (and get ’em for FREE)

  1. The best thing to do is to start calling local tree trimming companies, and asking for them to come dump a load of wood chips at your home. They are usually happy to do it, although you do need to call every day to be put on the list. We get a load about twice a year, but if you need a much smaller amount, you can team up with local gardeners in your area and share it.
  2. After you’ve prepped your garden soil and you have seedlings that are at least 3 inches high, start to layer mulch around your plants. As your plants grow, continue to add wood chips up to 6 inches around your plants. This should keep away all of the garden weeds.
  3. When it comes time to re-plant your garden, scrape back the wood chips and put them aside as you add any compost or additional soil. Then, when your seedlings reach the correct height again, add those wood chips back.

………………………………………………..

It might sound too simple or too good to be true, but using wood chips has made such a huge difference in the garden! It’s given us more free time to do things we love…and made gardening a breeze! We’ve also noticed our soil has gotten better and better with each year.

Read more about using wood chips in the garden – as well as some common myths – at WeedEmAndReap.com

 

(Having trouble finding wood chips in your area? Check out Chip Drop.)

 

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About the author 

Rose S.

An avid gardener since childhood, I love sharing my passion for gardening with others! I have gardened in a number of different climates and settings, from large fenced garden plots, to tiny patio and container gardens, and I firmly believe that everyone can learn to grow at least some of their own food - no matter where you live. Growing your own food can help you take control of your own health and food supply, and there has never been a better time to get started!

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  1. In reguard to the voles and the use of cats to catch them, I have a cat that stayed in the garden most of the time but because the voles live in tunnels the cat is helpful but did not completely get rid of them.

  2. Hi Siya, Hmm….I’m not sure! I’m not aware of anyone who has had issues with termites in the garden, although I guess if your garden was right next to your house it could be an issue. Typically I think termites prefer solid wood that they can tunnel into, though? Rose.

  3. Hi Clyde, we have had issues with voles in the hay bale part of our garden, and they ate most of my fall greens last winter – even without mulch. We are trying wood chips in our garden aisles for the first time so I’m not sure how they will fare, but I assume they will still hang around. Last summer we had snakes living the the compost pile, and had NO voles or mice all summer! But they’re back this year (the snakes have moved on). We are thinking of trying a cat next – I’ve heard a good hunting cat will really help to keep the population down!

  4. In my garden, I have a problem with voles living under the mulch and as a result they eat the potatoes, carrots and other below ground vegetables.

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