On average, how much time would you say you devote per week pulling weeds
from the garden? I say per week, rather than per day because I used to pull
weeds on the farm - but I don't live on a farm anymore and I'm certainly not
going to devote 10 hours a day doing it.
My experiences pulling weeds in the fields made me completely apathetic
about them. However recently I've got it in my head that I might be able to
keep the garden clean without resorting to chemical warfare - but it just
doesn't seem to help. Dandilions, Catsear, Rye, and two others that I'm
actually gonna post an ID on here shortly are overrunning my garden even if
I do pull weeds for an hour a day.
How do you keep the weeds down? Pulling them up, covering them over with
mulch, weapons of mass destruction, or do you just not worry about it
What is the best method for controlling rye grass growing up inside a clump
of something like rosemary or lavender?
On average, 1 or 2 minutes per week. In the county I live in, I can
get free mulch by the truck load that has already been through the
heat cycle, therefore no live seeds. Every year I add a couple of
inches after planting. Very few weeds make it through the mulch, a
crab grass sprout here and there is about it.
rye? Dandelion has been much discussed here as it is a salad and
medicinal plant, and it also has an incredible taproot that transports
nutrient minerals to the surface to improve the soil.
Rye on the other hand creates an extremely large amount of biomass in
the soil which improves water retention and generally keeps the critters
Oh, are we talking lawn here?
Pour a slab and paint it green.
In my vegetable garden, I probably spend ten minute a week, if that
much, pulling weeds.
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Anyone know how to rid a garden of Tradescantia that has completely
taken over? It leaves its roots in the ground from which new plants grow
and multiply. I have tried rolling it up and disposing of it; used
broad-leaf herbicides; tilling the soil, and am now thinking the only
effective way to rid my garden of this pest is to completely redesign
the entire garden, remove everything and start again, hopefully
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adr:;;7 Camelot, 21 Lords Avenue, Windsor West;Johannesburg;Gauteng;2194;South
I have far too many weeds which give fodder to something living back
in the garden, so I'd say I weed about never! Well, in the spring I
promise I'll keep the garden in front weeded, but the bermuda always
wins. This is no help to you, but I just have a huge area where I
allow weeds to go. When I bought the house I planted a lot of small
trees and this year they are finally giving me shade in most of the
backyard. I'll take more photos and post them to my website blog
Your answer does help, if anything its far less confrontational than the
others I've read. I have a couple boxes that are large and it was my
intention to keep them clean of any weeds. But seeing how difficult that
task is turning out to be, it got me wondering if I was simply being
hopelessly unrealistic about what a garden should look like. From your
response it sounds like I'm coming to that realization a bit too late.
I am torn between having this more formal landscaped look out front,
and leaving things so the local birds, mammals and reptiles have some
native something. Ironically, since I started this whole way of
gardening, I now have about 50 percent native plants, which others see
as weeds. Horse herb, frogfruit, goldenrod, Salvia farinacea,
Oenothera, winecups, Indian paintbrush, bluebonnets, yuccca's, oh just
a really impressive list of what others call weeds. Many of these
plants depend on others. For example, Indian paintbrush is a parasite
and grows very well when put together with bluebonnets because they
are a legume and fix nitrogen. So, they do well together with those
stores of nitrogen. Many grasses have also come up, such as inland
seaoats, side oats gramma, too many to list. Yes, it's a mess. But,
but, but, I get far more enjoyment seeing all the wildlife in the yard
both day and night. We have four of the most adorable baby oppossums
I've ever seen! They roam around all night all over the place. Now
and then they fall in the pool and find a float and we save them in
the morning. I also have a fancy for mice and even rats. Some people
think that's nuts. I don't. That garden strikes a balance. It's not
organized. Thank you Sara Stein who wrote, "Noah's Garden."
Are you talking golf course or pasture?
What defines a weed in a field?!?!? I've never spent even one second
pulling weeds in my fields... there are probably a few hundred
different plants... if they don't duck they get mowed.
I almost never 'pull' weeds. I'll spend a few minutes with a hoe, or a
claw, or a metal-tined rake. I'm a little philosophical about it,
mainly since my knees aren't what they used to be (if they ever were!)
and I refuse to spray herbicide or pesticide anywhere on my property.
But in my three little vegetable beds, I try to eliminate any
competition (and they don't really leave- they go straight to the
I do use a claw in the spring, but for certain weeds all it seems to do is
make them multiply. I guess if pulling weeds was simple they wouldn't be
called weeds. Based on your response and Jangchub's it sounds like I'm
worrying about them too much.
No, that's okay. You may want your garden more tidy than others. If
you want to try to get rid of unnecessary weeds, one trick is never
let it get big enough to produce seeds. The night before you plan to
do weeding, give the entire area a very deep soak. Water long enough
to lay down one inch of water. That will percolate down about eight
inches and make it much easier to pull weeds out. Just grab them from
as low to the ground as you can and jiggle them to loosen the roots
and then up. Try not to disturb the soil too much because weed seeds
can lay dormant for decades and all you have to do is disturb the
soil, turn it, till it, and you have seeds you never saw before in
If you truly don't mind sharing the garden with some weeds, don't go
crazy to get rid of them. If you just keep at it, cutting flowering
heads of weeds off before they set seed, in time you will get rid of
most of the weeds.
I guess it's all about expectations then. Here in the Pac Northwest grass
seems to be the biggest weed around. Dandilions and Catsear aren't
typically a problem so much as they are easy to pull out. But grass, pull
it out and huge clods of dirt come with it - if your not careful it uproots
the plant growing next to it.
Actually, I have a crop of quackgrass growing in my herb garden - I
deliberately left it to grow, partially to see how it would do and partially
because I simply couldn't get rid of it. It actually makes the garden much
greener and with the barriers I have around it, it won't spread beyond its
borders. I never have to water it, it competes mightily with other weeds,
and it provides a home for the frogs and snakes.
Here in Texas grass burrs, Queen Anne's lace, bermuda grass and wild
poinsettia are the most annoying prolific plants on this property.
Those we try to pull out the minute we see them or we suffer the
consequences. Bermuda is impossible to get rid of. It hates shade,
so I try planting things like huge ornamental grasses right where the
bermuda is worst and it eventually shades it out.
It all depends entirely on what sort of "garden" you like.
I spend an awful lot of time just sitting enjoying my view and I find that
things out of order annoy me, so yes- I weed.
I weed perhaps 10 hours a week in my "yard" proper, but do have a quite
large wooded portion beyond that where I do very little. Some times of year
I weed more, and some less, but al least once a day I pull some weeds. Of
course I mulch, but plenty of seeds germinate in mulch so that isn't the
final answer IMO.
If you weed with the right zen spirit it isn't nearly the nasty chore most
folks think it is. I don't mind it- I move my little seat from spot to spot
and get to know all my plants intimately. It's something I enjoy and the
rewards are great.
Not everyone likes a manicured garden, and I understand that.
But I do :)
First of all, I never walk through my garden without pulling at least 1
or two weeks.
On days when I set aside time to work in my garden, I usually pick an
area that has not been weeded recently and clear it entirely of weeds.
By "weeds", I mean any plant that is not something I planted (except of
course for volunteers -- interesting weeds). I spend about 1-2 hours a
I actually pull some weeds; these are generally seedling ash trees (the
most common weed in my garden), wild grasses, goatsbeard, and pimpernel.
I use a paring knife to cut the roots of some weeds; these may be
spotted spurge and oxalis. I kneel on the padded underside of an
upside-down bench. Using a hoe, long-handled cultivator, or chemicals
is not really possible because many of my desirable plants are too close
together. Several of my beds have ground covers (cinquefoil or
persicaria). Today, they would be damaged by weeding methods that don't
involve close-hand work; eventually, they should grow thick enough to
Contrary to some of the other replies, weeding is very important. The
pimpernel was crowding out my candytuft and primroses in back and the
persicaria in front. If I want those plants, I must eliminate their
competitors. Also, with water rationing likely in the near future where
I live, I need to reduce the loss of water from the soil caused by
My Hill (always written with upper-case "M" and "H", see
<http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_back.html#hill ) is another issue. I water it heavily but only once every two weeks. I cannot pull weeds
on My Hill except within the first 3-4 days after watering. Also, I can
only weed a small portion at a time; My Hill is just too steep for me to
do a thorough job all at once. While the weeds I remove from the flat
areas of my garden go in a green bin for the county's composting
program, the weeds I pull from My Hill I lay down as a mulch.
Currently, there are many tall annual grasses, some wild mustard, and
goatsbeard. Next year, I expect far fewer weeds on My Hill, a result of
the combination of (1) infrequent watering, (2) the mulch of old weeds,
and (3) the growth of ground cover (African daisies and English ivy)
that was planted just this past winter.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
I also save interesting weeds. The orange hawkweed has not gotten
established here on the penninsula, but across Puget Sound in King County
it's become a pest, and in Idaho it's illegal not to get rid of it in your
yard. It's SO beautiful and I allowed a bit of it to spread because no
other weed (or flower) can thrive in its presence and its blooms are
gorgeous. I have to stay on top of it to keep it from spreading seed, and
as this gets tiresome, I'm finally going to have yank it for the BOTTOM of
a compost heap. Too bad it's so aggressive as it's otherwise so lovely.
I never thought of 'em as weeds but I do have to treat as weeds seedling
hawthorns, seedling hollies, and seedling Franchette's cotoneaster.
Besides out-competing some weeds including dandylion and hawksweed secret
a hormone that retards the growth of surrounding plants.
-paghat the ratgirl
visit my temperate gardening website:
Keep weeds down by using mulch. There are still some weeds, but the
mulch can greatly help with water conservation. The best way to rid
the rye grass is pull it out, blade by blade, after a good soaking
rain. I probably spend 30 minutes a week pulling weeds, a bit more
time now than other times of the year.
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