In the Garden: Managing Weeds Organically

In the summer it can be easy for weeds to take over certain areas of the garden where crops have stayed in the ground a while. Take charge of these weeds organically with a few quick tips that will make it easy to manage weed pressure and prevent a weedy future.


Hoe it. To make it easier to tackle weeds use a stirrup hoe (in the bed) or a wheel hoe (in the aisle) as they first emerge in the garden. These tools will allow you to stand upright and more quickly remove weeds than hand weeding. If they have just emerged tackle weeding on a sunny day where a quick pass will turn roots up and they will decompose into the soil.


Mulch it. If you are transplanting summer or fall crops, mulch around them using straw or an organic mulch so weeds don’t creep in from the pathways. Another great option is laying down landscaping fabric that provides longer term weed suppression and can be used for multiple years.


(Photo credit: Farmers at Rain and Suns Hilltop Farm)


Keep it covered. If you are turning over parts of the garden right now and don’t plan to plant any additional crops consider adding a cover crop. Cover crops will keep the soil in place and limit any weeds from sprouting before your next planting. Just remember, to terminate this cover crop (aka till it in) before it goes to seed. An easy one in the summer to plant in the garden is buckwheat or crimson clover. Both of these cover crops will attract more pollinators to your garden.

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