Pesky Friends called Weeds!

Growing up, my parents had a big garden - and a lot of weeds!  I still hate weeding, to this day. So my husband and I get our kids to help us. They love it just like I did (yah, right!)  

We've taken some great steps to get rid of weeds, along with reading some tips from the Organic Gardening magazine, which we thoroughly enjoy (thank you Cindy!)  

Here's what we've experienced about these pesky friends.

Weed now

First of all, if you're going to weed - NOW is the time!  The weed tops are larger and easier to get out of the ground while the ground is wet.  

Spring is the perfect time.

We've also found that by using some kind of covering on the ground, it will help prevent the weeds from taking over.

5 Ways to Reduce Weeds

- Straw: We prefer straw that is already 2 years old because the seed-heads have already sprouted and died.  If you use the newer straw, hit the top layer with Round-Up.  Straw is very practical, holds the moisture well, and it looks great. (Baby potato plants coming up - yay!)

- Paper shopping bags or cardboard:  this might be funky-looking, but it works!  Lay down the paper and put rocks on top to hold it down.

- Bark: when you bark, make it 5-6 inches thick.  This makes it very difficult for the weeds to get through.

- Compost:  we use partially decomposed compost in the garden area. (Baby beets in our greenhouse with compost.)

- Blow Torch 2000 (Weed Dragon):  this is my husband's favorite tool.  It's a propane tool that kills the weeds with a flame, like a flame-thrower.  It works well on rock, or on decomposed granite, when the weeds start growing through. (Hobbes and our blow torch.)

Yard Sale Tool - $1

My hubs picked this particular tool up at a yard sale for $1.  It's easy and convenient and gets rid of the weeds effectively with minimal disturbance of the soil! 

But the best tool is fire--burning the weeds.  It's better for the environment, for your pets - and of course better than Round-Up.

Okay, I'm heading to our cold frame right now for more lettuce. I shared some yesterday with my friend Jeannie, who came by to cut a few heads out of the garden beds.  

There's nothing like buttery, fresh lettuce greens!

Come back tomorrow for The Perfect Entertainer ... as Nester shares her story here on 4RE!

Check out Cynthia's 3 helpers in her garden!  So fluffy and cute!


Sandy Toes said...

I guess I have to get my boots on and start weeding....

Blow Torch????Now that is a new one!!

That cracks me up.

sandy toe

Marci said...

I've never heard of the blow torch method before. Who knew? What a hoot!

cozonacs said...

I had a neighbor who blow-torched his whole yard. All the grass, gone. We thought someone had played some kind of cruel trick on him - but when the grass came back, it was the nicest yard on the block!

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

Oh, those dreaded weeds!! We use a "breathable" weed barrier under our pine straw. It really helps a lot! Your lettuce looks so yummy :)!!

southerninspiration said...

blow torch????? Hey, I could use that tool!!!


ellen b. said...

That there lettuce looks so good! What a delight to walk outside and come in with fresh greens from the garden...
My weeds have full run of my yard and planters while I'm in California...The only way my kids take care of weeds is by mowing them! :0)

4 the Contemplative Artist said...

You know Reg has been talking about getting one of these since Paul has mentioned it :) Which I am thrilled about because it means less weeds for me to pull!!
Also loved the Minor post. There is no such thing as retirement when it come to loving on and reaching out to others. He is a great example! oxo Anni

Melanie said...

That lettuce is beautiful!

An Accomplished Woman said...

Oh blow torch.. now that is my kind of weeding. I have just ordered a big pile of mulch but not for the garden. I think we are going with compost.

Thanks for the inspiration and love the lettuce.


Anonymous said...

Blow Torch! I don't dare mention this to my husband! When he got his tractor, the whole front yard got removed...I hate to think of what kind of fun he'd have with a blow torch! LOL
FYI, Round Up supposedly is as enviromentally friendly as you can get in a store-bought product such as that...so my enviromentalist friends tell me.
For those of you that are newer at gardening,over time (a few years) you will notice fewer weeds where you have weeded in the past. It does get better, really. And Sandy was right on, pull them in the Spring. They come up so easy, it is (almost) fun.
Sandy.. As always your pics look so great!

Julie Gillies said...

I hate weeding so much that we pay our daughter (and her friends) to weed for us!

And...the blow torch is quite the amazing weeding tool...I think! LOL

Runner Mom said...

I've never heard of using a blow torch either to get rid of weeds! Wow! I'd hurt myself!!!


susan said...

You know there is another option--"Weed" is a relative term! I may just have to readjust my definition of the word this year! I don't seem to be able to get weeding crossed off my "to do" list!

Heidi said...

sandy - here's my favortie way - it's organic (no chemicals) easy and totally green! right now lay down sheets of newspaper wherever you don't want weeds - i did it all over the front beds - and then put either a) potting soil on top or ryour choice of mulch. If you put potting soil - just dig through the soil and newspaper to plant your plants - Doing it now lets the rain water it down and the weeds are killed. The plants do just fine and your yard is weed free for at least two seasons. The newspaper breaks down and it's great!

GrannySmithGreen said...

I've been meaning to tell you, I think your blog is WONDERFUL! It's so inspiring, thought provoking and just great! Thank you for taking the time to remind us all of what's truly important!

GiBee said...

Ok -- garden question: what kinds of lettuce did you plant???

Ann said...

oh! we have a blow torch!!!! I am so getting my husband out in the garden with it!!!! how exciting!