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December 11, 2016
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How to kill weeds without herbicides

Straw mulch discourages weeds and helps keep moisture in the soil. A thick layer of dried grass clippings from your lawn works well, too.
Contributed photos

By Lisa Denardo

At this point in the growing season just about everyone who grows a garden or tends a flower bed has a common nemesis: the common garden weed. Of course, this common weed is not just one measly pest. Instead, it is a compilation of many different plants that all want the same thing: to invade our space. There is dandelion, sow thistle, carpet weed and crabgrass to name a few of the more intrusive varieties. While we all wish that our gardens were tame and beautiful from all angles, we must realize that this is the way it works. Growing a garden means you will be growing weeds as well.

The issue comes down to learning how to manage weeds. At this point in time, people are starting to really question the continual use of herbicides and chemicals in and around the garden. There is an awakening drive in finding safe and sustainable ways to control weeds in the garden. It is not just our own health that we need to take into consideration, but also that of our planet and future generations to come.
There are a number of preventative measures to take in the initial stages of garden planning at the beginning of each season that can help minimize weed growth and ease management.

All weeds steal nutrients, water, and sunlight from young crops. Not only is it an eye sore, but a carpet of weeds can seriously stunt your harvest. Figuring out the different methods of maintaining a sense of harmony and balance in the garden is a must for everyone interested in growing a garden. With a bit of time and effort, and finding your own personal rhythm, you should be able to find a gardening pace with less labor, in letting the garden work in harmony with nature, so that you can sit back and enjoy the time you have watching your garden grow.
[Editor’s note: The Wayne Conservation District will hold a Cover Crop and Food Plot Demo on August 24 at 9 a.m. at the County Farm, 247 Bethel School Road off of Rte. 652 between Indian Orchard and Beach Lake. This program is for both farmers and home gardeners. Learn about the different varieties of cover crops and their purposes. Call 570/253-0930 for information and/or directions, or visit]

Tips and Tricks

1. Use raised garden beds: Raised garden beds provide clear pathways and work as barriers against invading plants. The soil conditions are able to be more controlled with less exposure to foreign seeds.