I do everything I can to keep weeds from encroaching in my garden…
… I mulch my gardens to supress weeds and limit new seed germination by supressing light to weed seeds;
… I pull weeds in all of my gardens by hand when they are small. An old fashioned two pronged hand weeder is my favourite tool. Drive it in the soil next to the weed, tip it back to loosen the soil and pull up the weed root and all;
… I dig up persistent perennial weeds with a shovel or fork;
… I use boiling water in walkways to kill small weeds between pavers;
… I am slowly planting ground cover throughout my gardens to control weeds under shrubs and trees.
Unfortunately some areas are just impossible to control. A particularly difficult location for me is the section of our yard that backs onto a natural hedgerow and pond beyond our property. This area is largely scrub brush with some very aggressive or noxious weeds like bull thistle and Canada thistle, wild carrot, colt’s foot, wild mustard (not a noxious weed but an aggressive invasive alien) and more. Pulling is almost impossible with some as they have tap roots to China and a fresh supply of new seeds drops each year from the neighbouring scrub brush.
So this year I decided instead to create a natural barrier made up of 8 large hemlock trees. They have been planted very close together and I’m hoping that, within a couple of years, they will form a natural hedge that will both hold back the weeds and form a great looking backdrop to my gardens.