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Xeria e-Zine Q&A
June 15, 2022

It's so much easier to plan for weed control before you plant, but with all the excitement and eagerness to get the plants in the ground, all good intentions go out the window.

June 15 2022

That's when the garden ends up totally out of control. So my first bit of advice is to note where the plants are that you want to keep. Then, wait for a day when it's been raining (or you can water with the hose). Trying to remove big, well rooted weeds out of dry soil is just not even possible, plus you can disturb the good plants.

Then, use a digging fork to loosen the soil around the weed, pull it out. Dispose of it in a hot compost, especially if it's blooming or close to it. One years seeding means seven years weeding!

This advice is not meant for vegetable gardens - those are a whole different animal. This is for succulent gardens, or mixed perennial borders.

Once you've removed the weeds, your job is not done.

Now, mulch to prevent more. I use several layers of newspaper, then hold that down with pebble mulch or lava rock. The newspaper is not permanent, it will rot away, but depriving the weed seeds of light prevents them from germinating. You will have to replenish the mulch once in a while, but probably no more digging.

A couple of things I don't recommend is the use of black poly to line your beds. Nothing, not water, not air, can get through it. Plants, as well as the soil, suffers.

Find out more about weed-free-xeriscaping.html .

Another way to deal with established weeds is to cover each one with a large black nursery pot, upside down on it. This removes all light, which weeds (as all plants do) depend on to grow. It may be unsightly for a while until the weed dies off, at which time you can cover it with a piece of cardboard then mulch to match the rest of the bed.

I hope this has given you some hope that chemical herbicides are not the answer. I don't use any chemicals on my gardens, due to my chronic illnesses (MS and Hashimotos Thryroiditis) which could possibly have been triggered by exposure to agricultural chemicals in my younger days.

If you still need answers, or you just want to chat, you know what to do - simply reply to this email and ask me, or contact me (there's a link at the bottom of every page, in the footer, to the contact page.
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I hope you've enjoyed this issue of Xeria e-Zine! Any questions or suggestions are welcome. Don't forget, the Horticulturist is always in.

Happy Gardening,

Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist, Webmaster and Artisan

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