I will admit to a certain therapeutic effect that weeding gives. What we are about to discuss will not deprive you of this highly valued anxiety reliever. Weed control is rarely absolute or totally effective; don’t worry about not having sufficient stress outlets in your garden. There is often a fine line that exists between therapeutic weeding and If-I-don’t-get-these-weeds-back-under-control; I’m going-to-lose-my-freaking-mind, weeding. Let’s concentrate on the former so that we may avoid the latter. There is no benefit in revealing our inner borderline-psychotic tendencies, particularly when you are out in the yard, where the neighbors can see you. Gardening is supposed to be a happy endeavor.
A physical weed barrier can be achieved by placing several layers of newspaper or a weed barrier mat. Weed barrier mats work great, and lasts a long time (nearly permanent if kept covered from sunlight), and if you have three people available; fairly easy to install (a bit tough to cut and trim by yourself). Newspaper method is probably best in the vegetable garden, where you are re-doing it annually.
Chemical choices are preferred where more broad-spectrum long-lasting coverage is desired. A comparatively safe chemical is Treflan. Treflan is a brand name for the chemical trifluralin. As is true in many marketed products, trifluralin found in one product is the same as what is found in another. The only difference is the percent of active ingredient.
Whether you choose organic or chemical products, they work best when they make direct contact with the soil; this is where the weed seed germination prevention takes place. They don’t have much, if any, effect on seeds that have already sprouted. You should be acting now or very soon.
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