In this video we discuss how to make your own organic garden, and about weed control.
Read the full transcript »
Hi! I am Tim MacWelch of Earth Connection School of Wilderness Survival and Ancient Skills in Fredericksburg, Virginia. This is our Organic Gardening video series. In this clip, we're are going to talk about organic weed control. Weeds are out to get every single square inch of your garden for their own. They want to eat up all your fertilizer, use up all your water, and make more of themselves to cause you more trouble next year. A few simple tricks can help you get rid of most of your weed trouble, but there will always be a few tough ones growing in the cracks, here and there throughout your garden. So what we are going to do first, is we are going to cover exposed soil to keep the weeds from emerging while our plants get up to a good size. So our first trick is to take some newspaper, two layers thick. So we can actually just leave the newspaper, fold it up, two layers is much stronger and tougher than one layer. Now, throughout my garden I have walkways of weed cloth material, and I just covered those with mulch to give me better traction, to make it look a little better, and also to give me some organic material that I have an excuse to put back into the soil next year. But the mulch is also there to hold everything in place, and that's what we are going to do here. We're going to take our newspaper and tuck it under the weed cloth walkways, and again, we have it two layers thick, we'll tuck it under there a couple of inches, and we want to be careful not to smash our little plants, then we'll simply rip or cut a little notch that our plant can come up through. Now, the beauty of using newspaper is that it is completely biodegradable. So this will rot down over the summer. All the weeds underneath can't get up to the light, they move around a little bit, trying to find a way up but most of the time they don't find it, and they die underneath of that paper barrier. So all we have to do is cover all of our beds with this newspaper, two layers thick, and leave a little openings around our plants, and then we're going to cover it with mulch, and this will rot down as well, and provide organic material back into the garden. So we can do a little bit of mulch now, since it's kind of windy and the wind is turned up, mess with our papers, and we'll do a final mulching once everything is in place. But we can continue on down the rows, back and forth throughout the entire garden bed, and newspaper and mulch as a weed control. Another method of weed control is a flame weeder, and that is a torch-like device that you would attach to a propane cylinder; one of the small cylinders that you could carry around, and this blow torch is something you can walk through the garden with and blast the weeds with fire and burn them, however, you can't use this in and around all of your vegetables because they would be cooked and killed as well. So we have to use a little bit more careful techniques in and around our vegetables, such as weeding by hand, simply pulling the weeds up or using a small trowel to dig the weeds right around our vegetables and get rid of them. This is called a stirrup hoe, also know as a hula hoe or an action hoe depending on the manufacturer. This hoe is something that you can use to cut the weeds off just an inch or two underneath of the surface of the soil, and it can be used pushing it or pulling it back and forth. The weeds are simply cut off, and they die. So this can be used in very tight spaces. For example, on the edge of your garden beds or in between your larger vegetables, and very simply it slices a layer of soil cutting the plants' roots off, and your weeds will die. Another weeding technique is with more of a traditional Garden Weasel type cultivator. And this simply chops up the weeds with the soil, tearing them up and slicing them up. This tool can also be used very well to mix-in fertilizers and other amendments to your soil. So with walkways and newspapers, and a few weeding devices, we can kil