I find pleasure and tranquility in a solitary weeding session and a sense of satisfaction in the tidy look of the garden once all weeds are gone and replaced with a fresh topdressing of compost. But when weeds have grown out of control—in spring, this seems to happen when you turn your back for just a moment—weeding becomes an overwhelming chore, not a quick once-over. Overgrown weeds get in the way of having fun in the garden.
When dealing with weeds, remember the two Ps: prevention and persistence. Preventing weeds from germinating in the first place is easier than pulling or hoeing them later. So I layer the soil surface with organic mulch. Mulch is a great weed preventer, and it has other benefits, too, like conserving soil moisture and slowly enriching the soil.
Even with mulch, a few weeds always seem to elbow their way into the garden, and that’s where persistence comes in. Weed early and often, before the weeds have a chance to establish vigorous roots, and definitely before they flower and form seeds.
Enough talk: Instead of clicking away at my keyboard, it’s time I did something about those chickweed seedlings popping up under the azaleas. —Doug Hall