Credit: BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fish
I'm going crazy trying to keep my garden from being overrun by chickweed, shepherd's purse and other weeds. Is there a strategy I should be using?
Annual invasive weeds such as common chickweed, shepherd's purse, lady's-thumb and common groundsel can be an endless nightmare for gardeners due to the overwhelming capacity of these plants to produce copious amounts of seeds. Over time the ground or surrounding soil can become an enormous seed bank. When you continually dig into or hoe the soil, you actually bring more dormant weed seed up to the soil surface, where they flourish quickly into plants.
Here's what you can do:
Cultivate the soil surface more shallowly; consider using a "swoe," which allows you to create a "dust" mulch to suppress seed germination.
1. Cultivate early and often in the growing season.
2. Use a drip system or water by hand to avoid watering large tracts of bare soil surface.
3. Plant desirable plants more closely together for quicker coverage (although a disadvantage of this is potential insect or disease problems).
4. Use a generous amount of weed-free mulching material, such as bark.