Weeds are one of a gardener's biggest nemesis. You pull one out and 10 more crop up. If you're tired of pulling weeds but you don't want to rely on fertilizers to keep your plants, flowers and veggies weed free, check out this cool trick using items you probably already have on hand!
Don't toss out that Sunday paper when you're done reading. You're going to need it. A Garden for the House provides an easy way to "smother" weeds with newspaper! This method is sometimes referred to as newspaper mulching. The technique prevents weeds from growing and seeds from sprouting.
To start, water the area you want to "newspaper mulch" well. Lay your newspaper on top of all of the weeds and in between your plants. You should leave a few inches around the side of each plant.
After the newspaper is laid out, spray the entire layer with water. The water makes the paper heavy so that the wind won't blow it away and undo all of your hard work. To finish it off, top the newspaper with mulch. You can use shredded leaves or your favorite mulch. Make sure the paper is covered completely.
The area you mulched will stay weed free for at least one season, though it may last longer. As an added bonus: as the newspaper decompose, it provides food for worms and other organisms.
If newspaper isn't your speed, Living Home Grown suggests using cardboard instead. The concept is the same, but the cardboard is heavier and breaks down faster. You may need to cut the cardboard to fit around plants. Once it's in place, water and add mulch.
Other tips for ditching weeds for the long term include:
-Thick layers of mulching (use grass clippings, pine needles etc., to deprive weeds of their much-needed sunlight.
-Water your soil and cover with clear plastic.Let the plastic sit for at least three weeks (it works best during hot summer days). The heat will kill the weeds and save your knees from hours of weed-pulling.
-Pull weeds when they are dry: Pulling weeds out when they are dry ensures that the root shrivels and dies under the surface. Cover any open spaces with mulch.
How do you keep weeds at bay? Share your tips in the comments below.