The Zen of Weeding

Got ten minutes? Head out into your garden and bliss out by weeding! C.L. Fornari, an author, speaker, radio host and garden geek, says weeding is all about having the right attitude.

“We will always get weeds, because nature does not like bare soil,” explains C.L., also known as ‘The Garden Lady’. “If there’s a little bare place, nature’s going to plant something.”

Got weeds?

• Smother ‘em:

Layering sheets of newspaper or landscape fabric topped with two or three inches of mulch at the beginning of gardening season will limit weeds by depriving them of sunlight.

• Yank ‘em out:

When the soil is wet, weeds slide out easily. Wearing waterproof gardening gloves can add traction as you pull. Make sure you get the root by grabbing the main stem as close to the soil line as possible. Or, slip a weeding tool under the weed, twisting as it comes up.

• Dig ‘em up:

Weeds popping right back up after you’ve pulled them? They’re probably spreading perennial weeds, such as quackgrass, bindweed or Canada thistle. Grab a spade or garden fork, place it about a foot away from the weed and dig it up. Be sure to lift it up carefully, so you don’t leave any root bits.

• Slice ‘n dice ‘em:

When your soil is dry, use a hoe or a tiller to chop of the tops and roots of weeds. They’ll soon die off. Don’t use this method if you have a carpet of weeds, though – you’ll just be spreading tiny pieces of roots around to grow elsewhere in your garden!

• Crowd ‘em out:

Plant flowers or veggies close together so sun-loving weeds like purslane don’t have a chance to grab any light. Keep your grass pretty long, too, which keeps weed in the shade.

• Stop ‘em from seeding

Chopping down weeds throughout the season prevents them from reseeding and makes them use up all the food they store in their roots.

While you’re doing all this, consider these wise words from C.L.:

“I learned long ago that weeds take me into the garden in ways that otherwise I would not be,” she says. “I wouldn’t spend two minutes sitting on my bum in the garden eye to eye with my plants if it weren’t for those weeds. I’m observing, smelling the fragrances, listening to the critters come and go and to the birds singing, and I’m enjoying that garden. Weeding is a form of meditation. It’s hard to weed with a cell phone in your hand, thankfully, so we can let the world go when we’re weeding, and that’s a tremendous gift.”

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