When I first started gardening it was an attempt to spruce up the garden of the house we had just bought. I started pottering around in the hope of turning it into a presentable space which the family could use. I was new to gardening and open to suggestions and tips coming in from our new neighbors. A neighbor invited me to see her garden. This lady was an old hand and took pride in being an organic gardener. I was impressed with the lovely garden she maintained and all she told me about organic gardening. I soon became obsessed with the idea of starting my own organic garden. This happened many years ago and my love affair with organic gardening continues.
I earnestly took up organic gardening with the help of my neighbor and learned new things from books on the subject. Today my garden is completely organic; I fight pests and weeds through organic methods and completely avoid use of herbicides and pesticides.
Everyone who owns a garden knows how difficult it is to deal with weeds. I struggled for years trying to rid my garden of crab grass. I tried all the organic tricks mentioned in books but nothing seemed to work on the stubborn weeds. I laid down mulch as the books suggested in the hope of stifling the weed; but found to my dismay that it was resilient and impossible to drive away. When all my efforts failed I was tempted to use chemical sprays to fight the weed but resorted to pulling it out from the roots instead.
Fortunately I chanced upon an article on weeds that recommended a method I call dust mulching. The article impressed me as the author seemed an authority on the subject. I decided to try dust mulching in my garden to contain the weeds and was pleased to see the procedure work. I share with you the method.
Since crab grass and other weeds thrive in firm soil which provides moisture and supports growth I recommend soil around the plants and in between rows be loosely packed and allowed to dry. This technique is not as easy as it sounds. It requires a great deal of meticulousness and resoluteness on your part. You will need to ensure the soil always remains dry and does not compress after the garden has been watered or after a downpour. You will need to rake the soil along the rows and around the plants each time the soil gets watered. Though the effort involved is tremendous, the result is fruitful.
I use a steel rake that resembles a comb with closely placed tines. These are available in varying sizes and you can pick two in different sizes to accomplish dust mulching. I have two rakes; the large one is a little over a foot in width and the smaller of the two is around 8". The bigger rake is ideal for raking soil in between rows and I use the smaller one to loosen soil around plants. You need to loosen just the top soil to keep your garden weed free.
I am glad I tried controlling weeds through consistent cultivation, which is a completely organic method. I have found this method to be the most effective in keeping crab grass and other weeds from growing in my garden.
David Ross II is a kindhearted individual who loves the outdoors; she spends most of her time lately working in her yard and tending to her garden if she isn't writing for Vulcantermite.com. Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Birmingham is a family owned business in Alabama specializing in getting rid of those unwanted house guests.