End Weed Wars and Landscape With Stones - An Illustrated 3 Step Garden Guide.
My bounteous garden required constant vigilance for weeds and hours spent pulling them. This rainy holiday season I had family to visit, parties to attend, friends to celebrate. Time spent outside my garden meant time for weeds to advance and conquer. The weeds took over. I was determined to win the constant battle and permanently end weeds. Not only did adding rocks greatly reduce weed invasions, they added an earthy artistic texture to my garden. Here is my 3 step plan: 1. Uproot with tools, 2. Landscape with fabric, 3. Decorate with stone.
Weed War Arsenal
- landscape fabric
- garden staples
1. Uproot With Tools
Good soldiers are well equipped. Essential tools are a trowel, a hand weeder, and a hand rake. Gardening gloves, a cushion or low stool, and a face shading hat are strongly recommended for an organized weed skirmish. Sometimes on a whim, I wander out to the garden and find myself on an unexpected weeding rant. My dirty fingernails and kneecaps, and my sunburned cheeks bear the brunt of a passionate battle.
Planned skirmishes are more successful in wet soil. Stubborn roots lose their hold easier in a wet foundation. If you are unable to attack after a heavy rain - water the weeds with a hose before advancing armed with tools.
2. Landscape With Fabric
Black landscape/weed control fabric is available at most garden stores. The fabric will provide a foundation for your stones and rob the weeds of sunlight. Unroll your fabric and use garden staples to pin the corners of your battlefield. Working with just a 2' x 4' area allowed me to structure my time. My generous garden wraps around my house, only one weed battle per weekend for this warrior.
You will have to make a choice as you staple and cut - plant or fabric? Sometimes it's better to trim your herbs and veggies, rather than staple and cut fabric around their complicated base. My basil had grown into a large woody bush, so I uprooted it and replanted a basil shoot into a slit in the fabric. My oregano grows like a weed so I trimmed it to its base. No doubt I will trim back my peppers as well, but later, as the fabric easily stapled around its slender stem.
3. Decorate With Stone
Stones are the fun part! Wandering through garden warehouses to explore textures, shapes and sizes appeals to both shoppers and artists, as well as weed warriors. I fell in love with some campy beach pebbles at Home Depot and some sassy polished river pebbles at WalMart. I seamed a wavy pattern of light beach pebbles at my battle's border and used darker river pebbles for the war zone. In retrospect, I wonder if a brick border or gravel interior would be better. Or what about stepping stones flowing through? You are the creative commander of your weed war.
Are Weeds Our Enemies?
Weeds, like slugs, aphids and beetles challenge organic gardeners to think defensively. Not all weeds are bad. Like cockroaches their survival skills are phenomenal. Perhaps some weeds will one day be the herbal remedies for mankind's illnesses. This weed warrior and gardener is also a yoga instructor. Sharing the universe with weeds and bugs is a small part of a big picture. Staying free of chemicals to weed and debug keeps our earth clean.
Stones and Pebbles as Mulch
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