Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
Weeds. There are so many weeds this year. Every morning I go outside with my clippers and gloves. The rain has made the plants grow and weeds pop up everywhere. Someone asked me if I thought we had more flies, mosquitos or weeds this year. If I could track hours spent in my yard and garden, I feel like the weeds would win. We haven’t even reached the middle of June and already I’m growing weary of the weeds.
On our five acres we mow the weeds. Some of our property doesn’t have anything growing so we need the weeds to keep the soil in place. The top two inches of soil in your yard will have weed seeds. When you cultivate or dig in the soil the weeds grow, so if you keep digging and disturbing the surface to a minimum it will help prevent them from sprouting.
Mulch is one of the best things you can do to keep the weeds at bay. It keeps moisture in, keeps the soil cool and keeps the light from getting to the weeds. Keep about 3” to 6” of mulch in your beds and garden. If weed seeds do sprout, they are much easier to pull out of the mulch than compacted soil.
It is said that you should “Pull when wet and hoe when dry”. When it rains, spend some time the next day pulling weeds. Gloves, a pad for sitting and a wheelbarrow or tub for collecting weeds will make it easier. I keep an old steak knife with me for easily cutting out weeds that have grown beyond my ability to pull them. Be sure to replace the mulch around your plants when your weeding is done.
When it is dry, sharpen your hoe and cut the weeds off below the soil line.
I keep my clippers handy and when I notice a weed that is ready to seed I cut the seed head off and dispose of it which keeps them from reseeding and spreading.
Water the plants you intend to grow and don’t water the weeds. Drip irrigation will efficiently water your desired plants, depriving anything you don’t want in your yard of needed water.
If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information.