Spring Garden Tips
Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Garden Looking Its Best

Keep your plants looking their best and weeds under control with just a few adjustments to your gardening.

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Start by evaluating the growing conditions. When weeds outnumber your desirable plants, it is time for a change. Improving the soil, providing needed water and growing plants in the sunlight they prefer results in healthy plants that can outcompete the weeds.

mgm audio 053016 weedingRemove weeds before planting. Once the garden is planted, spread a layer of shredded leaves, herbicide-free grass clippings, evergreen needles, or other organic material over the soil surface. Mulch helps suppress weeds, conserve moisture and improve the soil as it decomposes.

Have a small bucket at the door with your favorite weeding tool and gloves. Use any spare minutes to pull a few weeds – before you know it you'll have the whole garden weeded.

And try to pull weeds as they appear and before they can set seed, adding to the future weed population.

A bit more information: Solarize the garden to kill off weed seeds. You'll have the greatest impact by covering the prepared soil for 6 to 8 weeks during the hottest part of the season. Most of us do not want to sacrifice that much of the growing season. So cover the planting bed with clear plastic for several weeks to warm the soil and encourage many of the weed seeds to sprout. Then lightly cultivate to kill the weed seedlings without bringing more seeds to the surface. Then mulch. You won't have 100% weed control, but it will give you a jump on these uninvited guests.

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