So its inevitable that the weeds will come and its just part of growing but I have found one thing that really helps cut back on them !! My first year growing flowers on a commercial level I though that landscape fabric was the only way to go. The fall before my first year I laid out fabric cloth , burnt the holes and did what I though was what I was supposed to be doing and ended up dreading it.
I laid out all my rows and burnt 1,000 of holes only to get so frustrated I ended up ripping it all out!! I learned early on that it just wasn’t for me and that’s ok . I found that it was very restricting and to uniform for me. I need to see and feel the dirt in my hands and it didn’t allow me to do that . So yes Landscape Fabric may be the best way to beat the weeds using a man made product but It just wasn’t the method that was going to work for me! Not only did I not like planting in landscape fabric I didn’t like the look of it. It gave my beautiful garden a sterile feeling that wasn’t welcoming. I do use landscape fabric for walkways and around my perennials like peonies that are long term but I cover it with bark mulch because it just like the warmness of the bark better.
So knowing I needed to come up with way to help cut back on the weeding I soon remembered my elderly neighbor telling me in one of our very lengthy and informative conversations about just about every thing under the sun; he said that
” To Beat the Weeds you have to Plant Early”
He told me that if you plant out everything early you will get ahead of the weeds and the foliage will create shade and your weed pressure will be significantly less.
I took that information and did just that. In my first year of flower farming I planted out everything way earlier than recommended. Yes I had to use row cover and protect them from frost and take the extra steps in the beginning, but the amount of time it saved me from weeding was so worth it.
As I go in to my second year of Flower farming I am pushing my limits even further and planting out even earlier. I’m not only doing this to get ahead of the weeds put am determined to get blooms for mothers day . I wasn’t able to participate in mothers day last year due to lack of blooms but I am determined to not let that happen this year.
So in conclusion I will say that I am a firm believer going in to my second year flower farming that planting out early has in fact helped with the weed pressure tremendously. I truly can not say that I really spent much time weeding last year and I think a great deal of why is that my plants had a head start to the weeds and they didn’t have a chance to pop up. Obviously there is weeds in a garden they just are a part of a garden but using natural materials like bark, leaf mulch, grass clipping to dress your beds along with planting out early, I beleive those are the keys to battling weeds.
Until Next Time,