Weed Control Methods For Vegetables And Flowers
The first thing you need to do when you have a vegetable or flower garden is to identify the weeds in your garden. You may not even know what they are, but if there are any, then it will be very easy for them to grow into something bad. So let’s start with some basic rules of thumb.
Rule #1 – Don’t Let Them Grow Too Big!
You don’t want to have a bunch of weeds growing up in your vegetable garden. If you allow them to grow too big, then they will eventually overtake everything else and ruin the look of your garden. They might even kill off other plants in the area. To avoid having weeds in your vegetable garden, you must make sure that they aren’t allowed to grow too large.
Rule #2 – Keep Them Smaller Than They Need To Be!
It is very important that you don’t allow weeds to grow too small. If they do, then they won’t be able to compete with the larger plants in the area. You’ll end up having to use herbicides or pesticides on them because they won’t be able to survive against bigger plants. Also, you shouldn’t let them become invasive in your garden either. If you do, then they’ll eventually take over everything in sight.
When you are trying to identify a weed from other garden plants, you need to look at a few things. The first thing that you need to look at is the color of the leaves. Most weeds will have a similar hue of green when they are young. After that, you need to look at the general shape of the plant itself and also if it has any flowers on it. Weeds are considered to be any plant that grows where it isn’t supposed to.
This means that if you see any plants that are of the similar hue of green, and they are growing in the area of your garden that you don’t want them to be, then they are a weed. So if see any plants that fit this criteria, then you can safely tear them out of the ground without any hesitation.
This is a very common practice. If you have a small vegetable garden, then hand weeding will probably not be too much of a hassle. You can easily walk around in the garden and remove weeds as you see them. If you have a large garden, then you might need to spend some time searching for all of the weeds that are in there. Make sure you take some time to look under the leaves too, because this is where many weed seeds tend to hide.
Scuffle Hoe Weeding
This is a weeding tool that you can use. It works like a small hoe and it’s really good for loosening the soil around plants. You can also use it to chop at weed roots. If you are using this tool, then you need to be very careful with your aim because if you were to hit your vegetable plants by mistake, then you could end up killing them too.
If you have a small enough garden, then you might not need any tools at all. You can easily grab onto a weed and pull it out by hand. This method works great if you only have a few weeds in your garden or if you are using mulch in your garden beds. The weeds won’t be able to grow past the mulch and they’ll stay mostly under it so that they will be easy to remove when you see them.
Invasive Weed Control In Your Garden
Weed prevention is always the best form of weed control, but sometimes you’ll have seeds that blow into your garden or you may have missed a few when you were cleaning them up. When this happens, then you’ll have to resort to weed control techniques to get rid of them.
Mechanical Weed Control
This type of weed control is done by hand and doesn’t involve any dangerous chemicals. If you have a small enough garden, then you can always do some hand pulling to get rid of any weeds that try to grow there. This is a very tedious method, but it is effective. You can also use mulch in your garden bed to cover up the top of the soil. This helps prevent light from getting down to the weed seeds and growing anything at all.
The only problem with this method is that you have to keep adding more mulch as it decomposes. Every once in a while, you may also have to pull out any weeds that did grow using the hand pulling method.
Chemical Weed Control
If you don’t want to bother with the hassle of pulling out all the weeds by hand, then you can always resort to chemicals. There are many different kinds of chemicals that you can use. Some are organic and some are not. It really just depends on what you want to use and how careful you want to be in using them.
Non-selective chemicals will kill everything that they come into contact with. This means your weeds and your plants. If you use a product like this, then you want to be very careful about where and how you apply it so that you don’t kill anything other than the weeds you are trying to get rid of.
Selective chemicals will kill only specific things. These are good to use because you can very targeted with what you kill. This means that if you are growing something like a garden, you can use these chemicals and only kill the weeds without harming your vegetables or flowers.
If you decide to use chemicals in your garden, then make sure you follow the directions on the label very carefully. Even though these chemicals are safe if used correctly, you can still harm yourself or others through carelessness or not following instructions.
Invasive weed control is a very serious situation in new gardens. You don’t want to risk your plant’s health with improper weed removal and you don’t want to spend all day doing it by hand. The best way to solve this problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place. If you take the time to do proper weed prevention, then you won’t have to worry about dangerous or tedious weed control later.
Don’t Want to Do It Yourself?
If you’re just not interested in doing invasive weed control in your garden, then you can always hire someone else to do it for you. There are many different types of businesses that will come to your house and do this work for you. Some will even plant your garden for you if you don’t want to bother with that either. It may cost a bit of money to have someone else do it, but sometimes it’s worth it when you don’t feel like doing it yourself or don’t have the time to.
Weed control in your garden isn’t fun and can often be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. By taking the time to do proper preventative weed control in your garden, you should have a nice, clean and safe place to plant and grow your vegetables or flowers.
Always remember that prevention is better than cure. If you take a couple extra steps in precaution now, then you save yourself a lot of trouble later on.
Hand pulling weeds is something that can always be done, but it’s probably not the best way to go if you have a lot of weeds to tackle. The same thing can be said about mulching. While it does kill the weeds over time, it doesn’t kill them right away and they will still be able to grow fairly large if they are not dug up or if you don’t spread enough mulch on top of them.
The next best solution is using herbicides. While these can be dangerous, they are a good way to get rid of a lot of weeds in your garden quickly and easily. Just make sure you follow all safety precautions and don’t overuse the spray or you’ll end up killing your plants as well as the weeds. *
If you don’t want to use chemicals, then you can always go with natural alternatives that won’t harm either yourself or the environment. The only problem with these is they take time and effort and you need to redo them fairly often.
Just remember, if you don’t want to deal with invasive weed control in your garden, then take a proactive approach and stop the weeds before they grow.
*Always read the directions before using any herbicides or pesticides. Some of these chemicals are very dangerous and can be fatal if not handled properly. Others may damage certain types of plants or vegetation, so make sure you don’t spray the wrong thing.
Weed control is a must if you want to grow a successful and productive garden. If you don’t remove the weeds from your garden, then they will steal the nutrients that your vegetables, flowers or whatever else needs to survive.
The problem with weeds is that they are very good at what they do. Most of the time, a weed will grow more than just roots. It will spread seeds and sprout new weeds all around your garden. Before long, your garden will be taken over by these nasty plants and you won’t have enough room to grow anything.
Before You Start
One of the best ways to prevent invasive weed control is to not put yourself in that situation in the first place. While this may sound like common sense, it’s amazing how many people don’t follow this advice.
When creating your garden or before planting anything, do not till the soil. Tillage is when you break up the upper layer of the garden with a shovel or other tool. While this loosens the soil and makes it easier for plants to grow in the future, it also breaks apart the weed seeds that are already in the ground. Many seeds over the years have already fallen to the ground and lay dormant until the right conditions allow them to sprout. If you till the soil, these seeds will become active and begin growing too.
One of the reasons people till their gardens is to get rid of small stumps or rocks. These are fairly easy to remove after a few years because by that time the plants will have grown large enough to cover them up. You can avoid the extra work by simply pulling up the stumps and stones by hand. While this is more work up front, you’ll save time in the long run.
Another thing that is a huge help is using a drip irrigation system. Drip systems water your garden or whatever plant you have by slowly releasing water directly where it’s needed. This allows the water to be used much more efficiently and it won’t run off into the streets or down storm drains.
For those of you that don’t want to use chemicals or go through all the trouble of setting up drip lines, another good way to prevent weed growth is by growing a cover crop. These are basically groups of seeds that you will plant in your garden to grow and cover up the soil around the edges of your garden. Not only will this keep weeds from growing, but it will also act as natural fertilizer when it breaks down.
If you have an area nearby that’s filled with aggressive weeds, you might want to just consider starting your garden there instead. Weeds are a lot easier to prevent than get rid of once they take hold. If you let them start growing, they will spread and take over everything in their path. It will take a lot more work to remove them than it would to just not let them start with the first place.
The very first thing you need to do is decide what you’re going to grow in your garden. The main things you can grow are vegetables, fruits or flowers. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages so you’ll need to choose which ones you think will work best for you.
If you decide to plant flowers, then you can either plant them all in one area or divide them up and plant different kinds in several different places. It’s entirely up to you on how you want to set things up.
If you choose to plant a regular vegetable garden, then you’ll need to decide what you want to grow and how many of each type you want to plant. You might want to consider what your family likes to eat or what’s cheap to buy at the store. You can either just pick out a few types or grow an entire chart of different kinds. You’ll need to experiment and see what you like best or what grows the best in your area.
If you decide to plant fruits, then the same rules apply. You can either pick a few types or several. Some trees need other trees to be nearby in order to grow properly so you might need to do some research before you decide exactly what you want to plant.
Once you’ve figured all that out, then you can start marking off areas for your garden. This is where the hoe and shovel come in handy. Mark off an area that’s as wide and as long as you want it to be. Then use the shovel to cut down about an inch deep into the ground. After that’s done, take the hoe and stir the soil around a little bit.
Stirring it helps loosen it up and helps prevent it from caking down hard later on.
After the stirring is done, take your seeds and begin to plant them. You don’t want to plant them too deep so just push them into the soil with the depth of two fingers. If you’re sowing several seeds, then thin out the ones that are growing together so they don’t end up being overcrowded as they grow up.
Once that’s done, you’ll need to water the seeds. Don’t just water them a little; you want to water them a lot. If the ground is dry then the seeds won’t be able to break through the soil and they won’t grow at all. Make sure to keep them watered everyday.
As the plants start to sprout, you’ll need to thin them out so that they don’t grow up with too many leaves and not enough fruits or vegetables (or flowers in this case). Pull up the extra plants by their roots so that there’s only one left. Your goal is to have the strongest sprout in each area so that it can get all the nutrients from the soil for itself, leaving nothing left over.
Once all that is done you can finally relax and wait for your garden to grow. You’ll need to keep it watered everyday and keep an eye on the plants themselves. If a bug or an animal tries to eat them then you’ll need to chase it away. The only real work after this is done is making sure that there’s enough sunlight for the plants to grow (which is a year round issue really).
When the plants actually begin to grow fruits or vegetables then you’ll need to pick them as soon as they’re ripe. If you leave them there too long then they’ll just rot and you’ll have wasted all your hard work. And that’s it, now you know how to plant a garden.
You’ve passed many days in the sun, watering the ground around the young plants and keeping an eye on them. They seem to be growing steadily if a little slowly for your taste. Your parents and sister have come to accept your odd hobby, as strange as it is. They’ve even come to help you out sometimes, though they don’t always understand why you do everything that you do.
You’re in the garden as usual, checking up on the plants and pulling out the weeds that managed to sneak in when you heard a knock on the door. Your sister goes to get it since you’re busy, but you hear her voice anyway.
“I’m sorry sir, but Cob is in the garden.”
There’s a muffled reply which you don’t catch, then your sister replies.
“I don’t know sir, he just likes to be called that. And he is a grown man.”
There’s silence for a moment before your sister speaks again.
“Um, alright. Oh! He’s in the garden.”
You suppose she’s telling you that someone is here to see you, though you already know. Getting up, you wipe off your pants (though it’s pretty pointless as it just gets dirty again) and head into the house.
You expect to see a Guardsman at the door, though it wouldn’t be unusual for Captain Vahlat to visit in person, he’s done it before. What you don’t expect is to see a well dressed man holding a wooden cage. The man looks at you and smiles. It’s a smile that puts you on edge instantly.
“Cob, I’d like to introduce you to my employer, Mr. Scars. Mr. Scars, this is Cob, the man of the house.”
You hear a low hiss come from the cage, causing you to jump back and grab a knife in preparation. Then you pause. What’s in the cage isn’t a monster, but rather a woman. A very young and pretty woman. Long blond hair and fair skin, she barely wears anything at all, just a pair of panties.
The rest of her is covered only by long strands of cloth, which are so thin you can practically see through them. Her hands are tied behind her back, as are her feet. The gag in her mouth seems to be the only thing keeping her from crying out.
You like what you see, Cob?”
Mr. Scars asks. “I’ve captured this young woman for you. You may do whatever you want to her, anything at all. If you wish, you can keep her as your own personal slave. All I ask is that you listen to what she has to say before you decide.”
He opens the cage and beckons to the girl, then turns to you.
“Go on, talk to him.”
The girl seems to hesitate, but the man gives her a push. She takes a step towards you, her eyes on the floor. You stare at her, wondering what this is all about. There’s something…familiar about her…
“Cob,” the girl says, timidly.
That’s when you finally place where you’ve seen her before. It was years ago, and you were both much younger, but…
She glances up at you and nods, confirming that it is, in fact, her. A long forgotten memory comes back to you. You were just children when it happened, but you both remember it clearly.
“Do you…do you remember the flying ship that passed over our houses and dumped out a basket?”
“Vaguely,” you say. “It was so long ago.”
“I never forgot,” she says. “I’ve always remembered what you did for me.”
Then, she gets down on one knee and bows her head.
“I pledge myself to you, Cob. From now on, you are my master, and I am your servant. You have my loyalty until the day I die.”
Well there’s no way you could’ve seen that coming. This seems like a trick though, no one just offers themselves to you like this.
Why are you offering yourself to me? What’s the catch?”
“No catch. I just remembered what you did for me, and felt I needed to repay the favor. You said I should come to you if I was in trouble, well, here I am. I’m giving myself to you, to do with as you please.”
“I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but…I mean…I don’t want to take you against your will.
Even if you are giving yourself to me, it doesn’t feel right.”
“It isn’t against my will. This is a wise decision. I’ll explain later, but first…please, just accept my pledge.
I need your protection, Master.”
Seeing the girl on her knees before you, and hearing her beg for your protection, you can’t very well turn her away.
“Very well,” you say. “Rise.”
Eliza looks up at you with wide eyes, tears of relief streaming down her face. She stands, but keeps her head bowed.
“Rise, look at me. I am not your master yet. When I accept your pledge, then you may look at me without fear.”
Eliza slowly lifts her head, and looks at you. You see a spark of defiance in her eyes, before she lowers them again.
“Before I can accept your pledge, I must hear exactly what it is you want from me.”
“I need protection from my father. He wants to marry me off to some old man I’ve never met. I can’t marry someone I don’t love, and I can’t marry someone who…who isn’t worthy of me.
So I want to run away, but I can’t without someone to protect me. You always protected me when we were kids, and I need that again. I’m asking you to be my guardian. To take me under your wing. I know you’re a great warrior. I just…want to be safe. I want to be safe with you.”
Eliza looks up at you again, and smiles.
“Yes, I’ll protect you. You’re under my wing now.”
Eliza asks, hope filling her eyes.
“Truly,” you say. “
Now, is there anything you need to take with you? A favourite toy? A picture? What about clothes or other personal items?”
“I have a bag in my room with a couple of changes of clothes and other essentials. I can grab that real quick.”
“Okay. Go do that, then meet me outside.”
Eliza nods, and heads off to her room. You wait for her by the door. Not two minutes later, she returns with a duffel bag over her shoulder.
“I’m ready,” she says.
“Good, let’s go.”
You open the door, and find yourself face to face with Orvyn. Eliza jumps back at the sight of him, clearly afraid. You motion for her to be quiet, but Orvyn was already raising an eyebrow.
Orvyn asks, looking past you and directly at Eliza.
“Um…a…a friend?” you say, trying to think of an answer quickly.
You have female friends now?”
Orvyn continues, a smirk forming on his face.
“Yes,” you say, blushing slightly. “I have female friends now.”
“Interesting,” Orvyn says. “
Well, what are you waiting for?
Invite her in so we can chat and get to know each other.”
Shit. You didn’t think he’d want to talk to her. You were so focused on finding a place to take her, you didn’t think about the possibility of Orvyn interrogating her.
“Um…come in?” you say, looking at Eliza. She just stares back, clearly too nervous to make any sudden movements.
“Thanks,” Orvyn says as he walks past you and into the room. “Close the door behind you.”
You do as he says, then turn to face him. You’re standing towards the edge of the room, while Orvyn is by the door, not far from Eliza. You can easily try to make a run for the door, but you’d have to push past Orvyn to do it, and you don’t think Eliza would be quick enough to follow you.
Orvyn takes a good, long look at Eliza. She stares back, not saying a word.
Do I know you?”
You hold your breath, hoping she doesn’t say something foolish and give away your plans.
“I…I don’t think so,” Eliza says.
Orvyn squints his eyes, as if trying to see her face more clearly.
“I feel like I do,” he says. “
What’s your name?”
Shit. You didn’t think she’d need a fake name, and she’s far too panicked to come up with one.
“El…Elizabeth…” she says.
Orvyn pauses, thinking, before a grin slowly spreads across his face.
“Oh! I remember you!” he says to Eliza. Then, he turns to you. “She used to live in this village years ago.
Her name was Elizabeth, but everyone called her Lizzy. She was a simple girl, really. This is her offspring, come back to visit the old homestead.”
“You…you lived here?” Eliza asks, clearly embarrassed.
“Yes. But only for a little while. My family moved away when I was young.”
“She…she said she got lost,” you say, confused. “Elizabeth said she didn’t know where she was.”
Oh, did she?
Never known her to lie. I can guarantee that she got lost, and has no idea where she is. That sounds like Lizzy.”
You look at Eliza. Memories of her story come back to you, of getting separated from her parents and ending up in a cave…
“I…I…” Eliza stutters.
“I’m s-sorry. I-I…I just wanted to visit…I…I didn’t mean to cause any trouble…”
Orvyn smiles warmly.
“No need to apologize. You’re forgiven. Just make sure you don’t get lost on the way out. Back out of the door, turn right, walk to the village square, then left. Someone will show you the way from there.”
“I…thank you…” she says.
“Of course,” Orvyn says. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to talk to our other visitor. You can wait for him in the square, then lead him back here.”
Orvyn heads to the door and opens it for you. You walk past him, while Eliza follows close behind. As soon as she’s outside, Orvyn slams the door shut again.
“So,” he says, leaning against the door. “The story of how you two really met.”
“I told you how we met!” you protest.
“Tell me again.”
You sigh, wondering whether you should tell him the truth or not. If you tell him Eliza’s story, he may believe her. Then again, he may not, and decide to punish you both for lying. If you tell him the truth, he’ll know you betrayed his trust and there’s no way out of your deal.
He is an elf. Deception is in his nature. Maybe he wants to test you, to see if you’ll lie to him. Maybe the correct thing to do is to tell him the truth.
Sources & references used in this article:
Aquaponic gardening: a step-by-step guide to raising vegetables and fish together by S Bernstein – 2011 – books.google.com
… Vegetable Garden Problem Solver: The Best and Latest Advice for Beating Pests, Diseases, and Weeds and Staying a Step Ahead of Trouble in the Garden by FM Bradley – 2007 – books.google.com
Pollination mitigates cucumber yield gaps more than pesticide and fertilizer use in tropical smallholder gardens by I Motzke, T Tscharntke, TC Wanger… – Journal of Applied …, 2015 – Wiley Online Library
Pests of the garden and small farm: A grower’s guide to using less pesticide by ML Flint – 2018 – books.google.com
Principles of sustainable weed management in organic cropping systems by M Schonbeck, B Tillage – … Weed Management, 3rd ed.; Clemson …, 2011 – clemson.edu