Weed control without herbicide
By Charlotte Wachtel
1. Annuals, such as pigweed and lambsquarters, with millions of tiny seeds,
Although some weeds stay short and do not shade out your garden vegetables, all weeds compete for water and soil nutrients, and should be controlled. After planting your seeds and seedlings, be prepared to cultivate or till the soil to kill emerging weeds. Cultivate at lest twice when the seedlings are tiny to allow your vegetables to gain size and vigor. After cultivating, mulch can be applied to slow weed growth.
Although mulch rarely stops every weed, it does hinder their growth substantially, keeps the soil moist, an provides a great environment for earthworms near the surface of the soil. Many types of materials can be used as mulch, these include:
Those weeds that do survive despite your best efforts will need to be pulled out before they set seed. having a thick layer of mulch will make pulling much easier. Weed scan be thrown into the compost heap. They will break down much more quickly if you shred them. Weeds also serve as feed for chickens and pigs. By feeding weeds to animals or recycling them into compost, a waste becomes a free, healthy feed for animals and plants.
Finally, many garden weeds are also edible wild plants. Check with your library or bookstore for a field guide to edible wild plants if you are interested in pursuing information about these garden extras.