The Bane of a Gardener’s Existence

“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except how to grow in rows.” ~Doug Larson.

Pretty much all of us deal with weeds, and the ways in which we do so vary.

weeds in the corn bed

weeds in the corn bed

They can creep up so fast!

newspaper for weed prevention


You can use newspaper successfully to help control weeds.

newspaper for weed prevention

recycle the weeds too

Hold the paper in place with pulled weeds, or with straw or other mulch.

weed prevention

give them some room

Be sure to not crowd some of your veggies- remember that voles and squash bugs love to hide under mulch. Better to pull a few weeds than any plants.

cardboard for weed prevention

recycling in the garden

We’ve been using cardboard in the paths, and it works well.
We cover with mulch for esthetics sake, and still pull weeds on the edges of the paths.

paper and straw for weed prevention

for larger areas

This is a watermelon bed, and as such we want to prevent weed growth while still giving the plants room to roam.
The straw also affords the melons a soft place to land.

landscaper fabric for weeds

landscaper fabric

We never really got attached to landscaping fabric. However, the weeds did.
The first year we used it, it did well. Every year after the weeds and other plants grasped onto it and would not let go.
Ajuga? Don’t ask.

weeds in gravel

weeds growing in gravel

Many use dark plastic in the garden. I have not tried that, but they swear by it.
Likewise Preen is a product that prevents budding of plants- they even have an organic version to use in the veggie garden. Used correctly, I have also heard good results.

How do you deal with these invasive plants?


Categories: FAQs, Keeping up with the Joneses



6 Responses to “The Bane of a Gardener’s Existence”

I have also tried and cursed the dreaded landscape fabric! Just like you said. First year was great. Every year there after made weeding a nightmare. I use newspapers and am trying cardboard this year. Always cover with old, old, old hay. Thanks!

Diana Barnes » 29 July 2012, 11:23 am

I used cardboard and newspaper covered with grass clippings, also holds in moisture. I have to leave out the paper now because my ducks & chickens make a mess of it looking for bugs underneath!

Too bad the chickens don’t eat weeds and leave the rest of the garden alone, that would be perfect!

That’s important to mention about the hay Mary, because fresh hay will sprout and become a nuisance itself. Thank you!

I would really like to use your photograph of “weeds in the corn bed” on your July 29 blog as a backdrop for a poster I am making for my research in weeds. It’s got good resolution. I would really appreciate it and will make due credit and reference to you on my poster.
Many thanks in advance,

Thank you so much for asking permssion Adrian, and I’m happy to say yes. I’m glad something good came out of that mess!

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