Weedless Gardens, Organic Mulch & Fertilizer


Considering how many herbicides there are on the store shelves these days, you may be inclined to think it nigh impossible to grow a weedless garden without the use of an herbicide. However, this simply is not the case. In fact, a well looked over organic garden is more conducive to being weedless, and actually minimizes the work that would normally go into fertilizing a garden.

First off, there are four essential things that you can do to prevent weeds from creeping into your organic garden. The first is to keep tilling and soil disturbances to a minimum. Second, practice conscientious watering, which means to water only that which needs watering. Don't encompass the entire garden with a water hose, but rather, keep water away from walking pathways, and better yet, set up drip irrigation if possible. Speaking of pathways, another important weed preventive is designating permanent areas for walking through the garden, so as to avoid soil compaction and subsequent tilling.

Lastly, always maintain a thin organic mulch of weed-free material. Not only will this help to smother out weeds, organic mulch acts as a natural, organic fertilizer. Great organic mulches for heavy feeder gardens like vegetable gardens include homemade or bulk compost and nitrogen-rich grass clippings. Less heavy feeders like trees and shrubs respond well to leaves and wood chips. Organic compost, which is essentially made up of any organic material, particularly kitchen waste and yard waster (grass clippings and leaves), is an excellent fertilizer and weed inhibitor.

If your soil has a sufficient amount of minerals and nutrients to begin with, a good organic compost is all you will need to feed your organic garden.

However, less fertile soil may need a boost of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous (which incidentally are the three numbers used to designate the strength of store bought fertilizers i.e., 20-10-20). But don't buy just any fertilizer. If your soil is particularly lacking in nitrogen, go with organic material such as soybean meal, alfalfa meal or cottonseed meal. If your soil also needs phosphorous and potassium, wood ash, seaweed and bone meal are great suppliers for these minerals.

Author: Ryan the Hawaiian Lion