- No comments
The zero-weed policy in the vegetable garden is helped by friable soils which have not been walked on. These two factors, friability & lack of
compaction, contribute to much easier weeding.
Our soils were originally difficult, heavy clays, which set like concrete after a rain. But the addition of sand has helped, by keeping
the clay particles apart.
Adding compost from the heap does help, but an enormous amount of compost is needed to make any difference on the depth of soil in a
vegetable garden. Sand has been the salvation of our soils.
Lack of compaction
Narrow beds accessed from the walkways keep us off the beds, so we do not tread the soil down. The beds are just wide enough for all the work to be done from the edge, so that we do not have to walk on them.
The only problem seems to be picking the stick beans from the wigwams. A walking board has been placed beside the wigwam, to minimise the
compaction caused when picking. Last year we did not use a board (just trode on the soil), & the soil around the wigwams had been trampled
during picking, so that it was pressed down and very difficult to dig later on – & difficult to make into a seedbed.
Having enough room between the rows to use hand tools for hoeing & breaking the soils, makes working easy.
Weed when the weeds are small.
Hitting the weeds before they get too big, & before they have had time to develop a strong root system, makes it easier, too! Remove the weeds as soon as they emerge. Tiny seedlings are much easier to remove. Pulling roots of tiny seedlings out of the ground does not disturb the roots of the vegetable plants left behind. The roots of the vegetables will probably be dislodged & spoilt when the well-grown weed root is pulled out.
If weeds are allowed to grow and develop a strong root system, they take a lot of water out of the soil.The roots of the vegetables will probably be dislodged & spoilt when the well-grown weed root is pulled out.
Shallow hoeing will remove small weeds. Shallow hoeing breaks up the soil surface, which keeps the soil user friendly!
Little & Often Weeding.
Weeding little & often in the vegetable garden makes it less of a chore. You are more likely to adopt a little & often approach if it is not hard
* the soil is friable
* the soil is not compacted
* the rows are wide
* the weeds are small