Weeds are the bane of any gardener, but they can be especially bothersome to organic gardeners. Many gardeners choose to use weed killer to get rid of weeds, but you can’t do that in an organic garden. So what can you do?
Well, you’ll need to identify your most troublesome weed, and then deal with it in the way that best gets rid of that particular type of weed. We’re going to look at a few of the most common weeds, and how to get rid of those weeds.
Dandelion is one of the worst offenders. Although some people choose to grow dandelions for their greens, most gardeners just want to get rid of them. To get rid of dandelions, you need to dig out the entire taproot.
You should always pull them up with a hoe before they flower. And you can spread corn gluten over the areas you wish to remain free from dandelions in the early spring. This will help keep a lot of the seedlings from growing.
Crabgrass is a major pest in many yards and gardens. It is very tough to pull up, and it is especially hard to get rid of. You must pull up the entire plant, including all of its roots. You can suppress further growth by spreading down corn gluten in the early spring. You can also mulch to prevent the seeds from germinating.
Poison ivy is a horrible plant. It can cause terrible rashes even with very mild exposure. You should always wear gloves when handling this plant, and don’t ever let it touch any part of your skin.
You must cut the plant at the base, then let it dry out completely. Bury the vines, or throw them away in the trash. Never, ever burn poison ivy, because the smoke can be fatal! Do not compost poison ivy.
Lamb’s quarters is an edible wild green. Some people grow these for food, but most people think of them as common weeds. They can be difficult to get rid of. You can hoe or pull up the plants when you see them. Then you should mulch heavily to suppress the seedlings.
Ragweed is a plant that many people want to get rid of. It’s a very common allergen, and its pollen is a major cause of hay fever. You can hoe up seedlings, and use a mower to mow down full-sized plants. You can use mulch to cover the areas where it grows. You can compost ragweed if it hasn’t yet gone to seed.
Purslane is an edible plant. You can remove individual plants by hoeing. If you pull the plants, they can reroot themselves if you leave them lying on top of the soil. The seeds of this plant can mature after the plant has been pulled, so don’t compost them. You can mulch to prevent these from growing.
Prickly lettuce is an annoying little plant. It can cause itching and burning if it comes in contact with skin, so always wear gloves when you handle it. You can pull or hoe plants, or cut the taproot below the soil.
You might wish to leave it alone, as it can attract beneficial insects, but it can carry lettuce diseases. Be sure to keep it away from your lettuce patches. Cocklebur is poisonous to livestock, so you should be sure to keep it away from your animals. You can hoe or pull plants beneath the soil line. You can compost it if it hasn’t yet gone to seed.