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KEEPING WEEDS AT BAY
White Flower Farm provides helpful tips
If you garden, they will come -- weeds, that is. New gardens, in particular, often harbor many weeds. White Flower Farm (www.whiteflowerfarm.com) says that the key to taming weeds is effective week after week control techniques. By dealing with the problem weekly, particularly as your garden becomes established, weeds will be less of a problem. This is partly because weeds have not been allowed to develop (and reseed) and because the cultivated plants get larger and more robust.
But even established gardens are occasionally invaded by weeds. White Flower Farm suggests several strategies you can use to minimize this nuisance. The following tips will help give you an advantage over your weeds, and keep your garden looking its best.
** Weed a little bit at a time, but often. This way weeds won't get the upper hand and you won't spend hours at a time pulling them.
** Pull weeds when they're small -- not only are they easier to remove, they disturb less soil. When you disturb soil in a bed, buried weed seeds may come to the surface and germinate.
**Corn gluten can be applied to beds to prevent annual weed seed germination. Do not use it if you are sowing seeds in the same bed.
** When removing perennial weeds, remove the entire root if possible. Many perennial weeds will resprout from pieces of root.
** Use mulch to block weeds from the sun -- a 3-inch layer of organic mulch will prevent many weeds from germinating, but remove all visible weeds before applying the mulch.
** In some areas of the garden, such as around trees or beneath shrubs, or at the garden's edge, landscape fabric can be used to create a physical barrier to weeds. Cover the landscape fabric with mulch, such as wood chips or pine needles, for a finished look.
** Never allow weeds to go to seed -- this applies to the garden as well as surrounding areas. Many weed seeds are carried by wind, so the less weedy your yard is, the less weedy your beds will be.
** If your cultivated plants self-sow, the seedlings may actually qualify as weeds. Remember, a weed is a plant growing where it doesn't belong. So if you have a plethora of Cleome or Cosmos seedlings, you may need to pull them, or at least dig them up and transplant them to another location.
**Perennials may spread beyond the space you have allotted them. Once again, they must be removed to prevent a weedy looking garden.
** In a vegetable garden, mulch with newspaper beneath a layer of straw.
** Keep weeds from creeping into your garden by edging it with a solid barrier such as brick, pavers, stone, or wood.
** Never walk by a weed -- pull it when you notice it, or it will just get bigger.
** Make sure compost is thoroughly decomposed before applying to your garden beds. Some weed seeds (and even the seeds of cherry tomatoes) can survive over the winter in a compost pile, and you don't want to spread those around your perennials.
Implementing some of these tips will give you the upper hand over your weeds, and keep your garden looking its best. For other gardening tips please check out "Gardening Help" at http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/gardening-help.html
Barb Pierson, the nursery manager at White Flower Farm, is available for interviews upon request, as are other experts. Barb is also available for interviews upon request.
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White Flower Farm is a family-owned nursery located in northwest Connecticut. Since 1950, they have been gathering, evaluating, growing, and selling a wide range of annuals, perennials, shrubs, vines, bulbs, and houseplants representing the very best varieties from around the world. Plants shipped are true to name, free of disease, and in prime condition for growing. While in the area, stop by White Flower Farm with its five acres of display gardens, or visit www.whiteflowerfarm.com, where you will also find helpful gardening information including a how-to video library. Join our E-mail list for gardening advice and tips, From the Farm quarterly newsletter, announcement of events at the White Flower Farm Store, and special offers not in our catalogues or on our Web site. White Flower Farm -- we make your garden grow.
Click here for directions to our store: http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/store-directions-new.html