Lessons In Weeding

When I was growing up, weeding was the job that required more time than did any other job on the farm. Some of the “tricks” that I learned over the years sound very simple and straightforward but are sometimes forgotten in the battle against tough weeds. Here are a few:
Lesson #1
Remove the weeds from the garden before you plant.
This sounds rather obvious, but sometimes we get so engrossed in sowing seeds and transplanting that we fail to notice the weed seedlings and shoots popping up.
Lesson #2
Have the right tools on hand.
I wouldn’t be without a long-handled and short-handled stirrup hoe. These tools are indispensible for the war on weeds, and the thin blade on these makes weeding so easy.
Lesson #3
Have the tools sharp and ready to go.
A good file is just as important as a good hoe. If your tools are dull, they will not work as well.
Lesson #4
Never let tough perennial weeds like thistle and quackgrass get the upper hand.
Once these tough weeds get established, eradication is nearly impossible with chopping and pulling.
Lesson #5
Keep some good weedkillers like “Bye Bye Weeds” on hand when you forget
Lesson #4
Judicious use of weedkillers can be really valuable when tough perennial weeds get out-of-hand. Understanding how and when to use them properly is critical for control.
Lesson #7
Don’t let weeds “go to seed.”
 A single, mature Red Root Pigweed can produce well over 200,000 seeds! Timely removal of weeds like pigweed can save a lot of work in the future.

Also, keep in mind that some weeds can be eaten. Mom would occasionally steam Lambsquarters leaves for supper. Lambquarters is a member of the beet and Swiss Chard family and the leaves have a similar taste.
I prefer eating beet and Swiss Chard leaves but, hey, lambsquarters are free and I’ll stick my neck out and say that they will never be on the endangered species list!

~Jim Hole