Bio-Degradable Weed Suppression and Green Compost

Sometimes the cold days are a big turn off from going out into the garden, and as a result, we can end up with a lot of weeding to do come to Spring, which means a lot of hard work before we get to the good part of gardening.

Why are weeds an issue?

The problems that weeds propose include a long few days of pulling them out before being able to garden, or sucking all of the goodness from the soil. Sometimes we also look to poisons to fix the issue, which can be toxic to us and the environment. Fortunately, there are a few poison-free methods to not only eliminate weeds but enrich soil at the same time.

 

How to Treat for Weeds without Toxins

Option 1: Using Cardboard or Newspaper

One alternative to poisoning thick grass and deep rooted weeds is laying cardboard or newspaper. This method doesn’t allow weeds to get light or nutrients, and smothers them completely. Cardboard and newspaper will degrade and add nutrients to the soil while smothering the weeds and grass and will cause no harm or leave residual toxicity for future crops. Simply placing a thick layer of newspaper, or a layer of cardboard on top of the affected area and hosing it daily will kill weeds in 2-3 weeks, and new crops can be placed immediately after. This is also a great way to recycle!

 

Option 2: Planting Crops that Smother Weeds

Another option is a pre-emptive strike. This can be taken by planting crops that smother weeds and don’t allow room for them to grow. This works because the plants work as both a ground cover and a guard from the weeds getting light and nutrients due to being widespread.
A good time to allow is 8 weeks for the crops to grow, and then 6 weeks after turning them into the soil before planting new produce. Alternatively, you can let them grow and smother the weeds, and then pull them out when you’re ready to place your veggie patch or flower bed.
The following plants work wonders for this method.
Lablab Bean
Cowpea 
Lucerne Alfalfa
Buckwheat

 

Option 3: Green Compost Crops

The last way to prevent weeds is to fill prospective garden beds with green compost crops. These crops will not allow room for weeds, and can also be used as green compost. By turning them into the soil after flowering, they will add nitrogen and promote garden friends such as worms.

The best plants for this method are as follow:

Clover
Fenugreek
Legumes
Lupin
Oats
and Mustard
Happy planting!