Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Frugal Gardening: Weed Control

dandelion Pictures, Images and Photos

First of all, I am really excited to be hosting my first meme and I hope it's successful - thanks to you!  Each Thursday we'll come back here and share our gardening triumphs and successes (and hopefully not too many failures, but life happens and that's how we learn, right?).  I'm going to try to have themes each week in case you'd like some writing inspiration.  However, it's completely optional.  The point of this gardening meme is to share advice with newbie gardeners like myself (and others who might be popping by).  So if you've written a post last week or last year, link and share what you know.  Grab the button in the sidebar (also completely optional) and link back here from your blog post.  If you don't have a blog, no worries!  I still want to hear from you, please leave a comment and share what you know.  I thrive on comments!  

Now without further ado, this week we're learning about Weed Control...

Lord knows we have enough weeds in and around the house, we definitely don't want them in the garden!  But inevitably they creep or crawl their way in.

My husband always says, "What's the difference between a flower and a weed?"  He replies, "the gardener".

He's right.  If you are a vegetable gardener, likely you'd be pretty unhappy with a giant rose bush growing up among your corn and green beans.  But if you are a rose gardener, you'd love to see the roses climbing among the trellis' in your garden. 

As far as other nuisance weeds, we have quite a few in our yard that I need to tackle every year.  The University of Georgia has done extensive research on the subject of weed management.  You can view some of the pictures and descriptions to identify what's in your garden.

I've heard of many ways to prevent weeds, and it usually has to do with weed killers.  I'm pretty new to gardening myself.  We're trying to go the organic route.  One, it's cheaper; and two, it's better for the environment and us.  One way we kept weeds down last year was by placing newspaper in the rows and in and around the plants themselves.  The newspaper will smother the ground, killing everything beneath.  It's one of the techniques in Lasagna Gardening.  In the book, she suggests using thick sections of newspaper to smother grass or weeds to begin a new garden spot.  When I was younger, we visited an older man (and I mean older, he was probably 85 years old) who had a beautiful flower garden filled with hollyhocks and poppies.  While we were walking through the rows, I noticed he had newspaper underfoot.  I asked him about it and he said it kept the weeds down.  Old people know tried-and-true methods to just about anything and everything.  I figured if it worked for him for all his years, then it would work for us.

We have two major weeds in our yard and gardens...wild blackberry runners and large crabgrass.  I've tried "taming" the wild blackberries into bushes but they are oh so painful and I worry so much about the kids falling around them.  They are truly ridiculous how they send runners everywhere.  Do you know I pulled one up last year that was over 20' long!!!  And no, I am not exaggerating.  And the worst part was it broke off so I didn't even get to the end! 

When I see a little weed trying to grow, I pluck it out.  The easiest thing I've found to pluck out weeds is using an old dinner fork.  Dig down under the weed and pull up, everything comes out in one swoop, weed and root system.  You might be able to find a fancy weed puller, but I'm trying to do our garden as frugally and thrifty as possible.  And I don't need to start another habit of buying tools, I already have a kitchen tool habit.  

What do YOU consider to be a weed?  What method of weed control do you use?

Next week's topic:  Fertilizer - what do you use and what do you recommend?


Susie said...

I have a HUGE problem with crab grass! That is my biggest garden headache:-(

Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free said...

LOVE your idea of using a fork to pull out weeds. Once upon a time I had a fancy weed majiggy--but my 4yo misplaced it! Good to know there is no need to go out and buy a new one!

Thank you so much for hosting--I love talking gardening!

Eric said...

You ask,..."What's the difference between a flower and weed?" It's,...location, location, location. : ) Saw u Sunday night at Leah's. Can hardly wait to p/u the Sunday paper. Using my husband's computer.

Jenna @ Newlyweds said...

Oh weeds, they just love a garden don't they. We usually just hand pull or use a small rake, but by the end of the garden, but then we give up. We also garden organically so if your not out their everyday its a losing battle, and they usually win.

Love this meme, and I will be linking up for sure.

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

I really like the idea of using a fork as a weeding tool. Clever!

My worst enemy is nutgrass.

Coupon Teacher said...

We have fast spreading grass. I wonder if it will grow over or under the newspaper...

lorre said...

you remind of my mom. she has been using kitchen tools (forks n spoons) since I was lil bit. I suspect that sometimes she out them back in the kitchen though :0


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