If you are like me, you consider your garden as the perfect place for relaxation and getting away from it all — even for just a few hours.
Unfortunately, it won’t serve its purpose without proper care and upkeep.
Looking back, I realised much of the time I spent in my garden was devoted to one inordinate chore — weeding! I must admit, the first few weeks of getting rid of the unwelcome intruders was satisfying in a way. However, when it comes to weeding, you can only do so much.
I knew I had to do something, and I had to do it fast. That’s why, armed with some savvy research techniques, I came up with a few effective ways to keep the unwanted dwellers out.
Image source: Landform Consultants
While unknown to many, rock salt can do wonders for your garden just as it can your kitchen. Known to effectively tackle weeds, it works best when applied after winter. Doing so will help ensure your garden is weed free during springtime. Apart from being readily available, salt can also be used as barriers for lawn edgings (and all those other places that lawn mowers can’t easily access). Also, if rock salt is not available for one reason or another, it’s reassuring to know that ordinary table salt will work just fine. Armed with the knowledge, I tried it out and the results have been nothing short of dramatic! Don’t get all carried away though. Ensure you apply salt only to places you want to be weed free. Keep in mind that salt can erode concrete surfaces and in some instances, can leave the ground barren for a long time.
Image source: Pinterest
Mulching can benefit your garden in more ways than you can possibly imagine. Apart from keeping the soil moist and cool, mulch can effectively deprive weeds of the light they need to grow and thrive. In addition, organic mulches can host carabid beetles and crickets which feed on weed seeds. However, while mulching might seem like a very simple process, there are certain techniques that you need to be aware of so you can take full advantage of what it can offer. I have been using wood chunks as mulch for the past 2 years and I have discovered that at least 2 inches is deemed ideal. Another technique you can try would be to put newspapers or cardboard on top of the soil and spread mulch on top to keep it in place.
Many lawn weeds make do with any small space that they have as long as they can catch a few rays of sunlight every once in a while. However, they have very little chance of establishing themselves in an environment where the grass is healthy. That being said, the importance of keeping your turf as healthy as possible cannot be overstated. I learned this lesson the hard way though. When I first started working in my garden, I mowed the lawn too low. Not only did I end up with a weakened turf, I also ended up with even more weeds, exactly the opposite of what I ventured out to do. To keep this from happening, you need to determine the ideal mowing height for the grass type you have and ensure that you mow at the highest level (between 2 to 4 inches is recommended).
Image source: Providence Design
Just like most things in life, when it comes to fertilising your garden, moderation is the way to go. Do too much and you will end up nurturing certain weed types like crabgrass and Bermuda. Do too little and you will end up with a sparse lawn. However, striking the right balance is just part of the equation. When choosing a fertiliser, consider products that have controlled nitrogen release as it will help ensure nutrients are released in a steady and controlled manner. When possible, I would recommend reading the instructions and suggestions on the packages so you can use them as instructed. While not exactly an enjoyable chore, it is a lot better than blowing things off the first time and having to redo everything.
If you wish to turn your garden into the sanctuary you have always envisioned it to be, you have to do more than just follow the latest trends. Equally as important, is getting rid of all the undesirable dwellers that compete with your plants for nutrients and space.