Although you may dream of a landscape filled with flower beds, the reality can be a bit more difficult. The main culprit of any problems is usually weeds. Removing the old plant cover from a bed and filling it with nutrient-rich, moist soil just invites any weed seed that blows in to quickly germinate, root, and establish. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can implement to help counteract this problem.
Destroy existing issues
Planting in the existing soil means that old weed seeds and bits of root can still be in place, waiting to invade the garden. Solarization can allow you to keep the old soil while minimizing weed growth. The way this works is that you place a sheet of clear plastic over the ground after pulling all visible weeds. Do this during warm, sunny weather. The warmth will cause any remaining seeds to sprout, but they will die beneath the plastic. You can then rake them out and plant.
Lay down a barrier
A barrier is especially important for the first couple of years of the garden, when stray weed seeds in the soil may still sprout. For a perennial garden, lay a piece of landscape fabric over the soil before planting. The fabric will last many years and suppress most weeds. In annual beds, where you will be constantly digging and switching out plants, use plastic mulch. This can be replaced annually but will still suppress weeds.
Use an organic mulch
The most common organic mulches for a flower garden are wood chips and pine straw. Both work by suppressing weed growth. You can use them on top of a barrier or alone. The key is to lay the mulch so it is a couple of inches deep. It does need replenished each year as the mulch will slowly decompose. Some weeds may also sprout in the mulch layer, but these generally have shallow roots and can be easily pulled.
Gardens are most prone to weeds in the early years in part because there is a lot of space between the plants, especially in a perennial garden. One way to counteract that is to plant more densely. Although you don't want to crowd perennials, since that can be an issue once they hit their mature size, you can plant annuals relatively thick. Use annual flowers and plants to fill in the spaces around your perennials until they have grown to their full size. You can save costs by purchasing bulk wholesale plants.
Although you may never fully eradicate weeds, you can make the management of them easier. For more information, contact companies like Kauai Nursery & Landscaping Inc.
I have always been someone who absolutely adores being outside, which is probably one of the reasons I decided to buy a home with a large lot. However, as soon as I moved in, I realized that yard work was a lot more challenging than I had anticipated, which is why I called in a team of professional landscapers. They were amazing to work with and got right to it, and within a few days, the yard was looking amazing. I wanted to create a blog all about creating beautiful outdoors spaces so that other people can help to beautify the world.