The Snarky Gardener knows how to turn weeds into allies. Or at least keep them from being a problem.
On the Mother Earth News blog, I wrote an article describing my techniques to bring your weeds down to a dull roar. There I listed 5 different ideas to mitigate garden weeds (including eating them). I personally think “weeds” are misunderstood. Unless an unwanted plant is literally shading out one that needs the sunlight, there is no reason to remove them. Most of my weeding is preventative, meaning I remove plants going to seed that I believe I have plenty of (grass and quickweed for example).
So here’s the list:
- Low till – tilling brings up weed seeds
- Mulch – to keep weeds from growing in the first place. I usually use fall leaves or straw, especially with my potatoes.
- Utilize them – many “weeds” are edible
- Cover crops – keeps the soil covered while enriching it
- Make Your Own – turn your seedier veggies (like lettuce and turnips) into edible weeds
- Plant closely (especially beans) – closely planted vegetables naturally shade out other plants
I left out number 6 from my Mother Earth News blog post mostly because including it didn’t occur to me until after it was released. It’s worked with green beans but I might try it with bush zucchini also. Just have to find the right sweet spot between crowding and too weedy.