In this article, we look at how to keep weeds out of flower beds. Weeds are a pain in the #$%s and weeding is time-consuming back-breaking work. You can do a few simple things to keep weeds out of your flower beds and reduce the amount of stress in your life. Follow this article to find out how to keep weeds out of flower beds.
Where Do Weeds Come From?
Weeds are plants that grow in places we do not want them to. I have swiss chard, lettuce, rocket, and cilantro that come up all over my garden – these are useful weeds! I can always transplant them elsewhere. There are however useless plants that have no function and are in fact ugly or actually damaging to other plants which can become a problem. These are especially prominent in flower beds.
Weeds are in many cases plants with very tough seeds – these seeds can remain dormant in the soil for years, or decades and when conditions are right, they will emerge in full force and make a mess of your flower beds and garden in general.
In terms of suppressing weeds, and controlling them we need to look at a few ways of getting rid of them so that they do not cause problems. Armed with an understanding of where weeds come from it is easy to understand what to do when we consider how to keep weeds out of flower beds.
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Flower Bed Weed Prevention
When considering how to keep weeds out of flower beds, remember that prevention is always better than a cure!! We have had a look at the fact that weed seeds can remain dormant in the soil for decades. In this regard, it is important to consider how we can stop these seeds from germinating and becoming a nuisance.
One of my favorite methods is a weed barrier. A weed barrier mat is placed over your soil. You can cut star-shaped holes into the mat and transplant your flower seedlings through these holes. Then you mulch over the mat, and you have a barrier to stop weeds from getting through. This also encourages the seeds of weeds to germinate and die under the mat. Each season you can remove the mat, dig the mulch into the soil, and repeat. For permanent beds, you just keep them as is. I prefer mats for seasonal beds because this allows you to add compost to your soil each year.
How To Kill Weeds In Flower Beds
Killing them before they come up – When considering how to keep weeds out of flower beds, the best way to kill weeds in flower beds is to kill them before they come up! This is one of my favorite methods to get rid of irritating weeds such as Kikuyu grass and tough-seeded weeds. It is quite easy – buy a sheet of black barrier mat material. Typically we put this under a layer of mulch so that the black fabric does not absorb heat and cook the soil – however, if you leave it in direct sunlight it will get very hot and actually kill the weed seeds within a few inches of the surface.
Earthworms and other creatures will just burrow deeper into the soil and survive. Beneficial soil bacteria and fungi such as Trichoderma will actually be activated to grow by this heat so do not worry about sterilizing your soil. The weed seeds and invasive grasses will mostly be deactivated and killed. You can now cut holes in the barrier matt, plant your seedlings, and then mulch over the matt material.
Smothering weeds – A layer of mulch will smother weeds. When considering how to keep weeds out of flower beds this is an effective way of ensuring they do not emerge. When seeds germinate under the mulch they cannot get to the light and will starve and die. This is a lovely way of killing weeds as they will then rot and release their nutrients back into the soil. I mulch my garden heavily and keep mulching – the mulch layer gets absorbed quickly into the soil the more healthy your soil becomes. Some weeds will break through, but over time, the number declines.
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What Is The Best Weed Preventer For Flower Beds?
As we have discussed in the previous paragraphs when considering how to keep weeds out of flower beds, a combination of a weed barrier mat and mulch is the most effective way to prevent weeds. The barrier mat can be cut in small places to allow your seedlings to be planted. The remainder of the mat acts as a barrier to weeds. Placing mulch on top of this allows your soil to maintain a good temperature (not get too hot or cold) and mulch also stops the loss of soil moisture.
In Conclusion – How To Keep Weeds Out Of Flower Beds
Weed seeds are often hardy and tough. They germinate quickly and smother the plants that we want. We can easily control them using a barrier mat, that covers the soil and does not allow the weeds through. We cut holes in the mat to plant our seedlings through, and then cover the mat with mulch. Water can pass through the mat, and it can exchange air and gasses.
In this way, we can control weeds without using chemicals and can have a healthy, beautiful flower bed.
Dr. Garth A. Cambray is a Canadian/South African entrepreneur and beekeeper with 28 years of experience in apiculture and specializes in adding value to honey. His Ph.D. research developed a new advanced continuous fermentation method for making mead that has resulted in a number of companies globally being able to access markets for mead. His company, Makana Meadery, exports honey mead to the USA where it is available to discerning connoisseurs. He has also developed technologies to commercially manufacture organic honey vinegar in Zambia for export globally. He holds a few patents globally in the ethanol industry and believes in technology and knowledge transfer for human development and environmental sustainability. One of his proudest achievements is the fact that the wind farm he started at one of his old apiary sites has essentially made his hometown carbon neutral.