Today we’re talking about the common denominator all gardeners face, the one thing that impacts everyone equally when it comes to maintaining our gardens and landscapes and that’s the unavoidable issue of weeds and how to best eradicate them from our lives – or at least our gardens. Fear not – a weedless garden is possible.
No doubt you’ve heard the old expression, there are only 2 things guaranteed in life: death and taxes. Well, I’m here to tell you there’s a third. It’s weeds! No way around it. It’s Mother Nature’s great equalizer of life.
But what if I told you, while you’ll never be able to have a weed free garden, how would you like to have a weed-less garden? Yep, you can, and today we’re talking to the man behind the concept of weedless gardening, Dr. Lee Reich. In fact, he wrote the book on it by that very name-Weedless Gardening.
So today we take a little time to have the discussion with Lee about the steps involved in how anyone can have a weedless garden. And as you’ll hear in our conversation, there are only four steps to achieving a weedless garden, and they’re not difficult.
Four Steps to a Weedless Garden
- Minimize soil disruption. In other words, sell your tiller. There are just too many important things going on in your soil that form in the absence of being disrupted. Minimizing soil disruption preserves the soil’s natural layering.
- Protect the soil surface. Covering the soil with some sort of natural barrier (like wood mulch) will temper the effects of raindrops and harsh sun on the soil’s surface while smothering weed seedlings too. Even living plants can serve as a protective layer over the soil surface.
- Avoid soil compaction. Keep off planted areas-period. No foot traffic, wheelbarrows, garden carts, etc. Designate separate walkways or paths for foot traffic and stay on them. Never step into or compress the soil designated for growing.
- Use drip irrigation. Drip irrigation in the absence of rainfall is the best way to deliver water to plants that come as close to how they actually need and utilize it. It pinpoints water where it is actually needed instead of wasting it with water that runs off from its intended target. Off target watering is also an invitation to promote weed growth by giving them a vital component to what they need to establish.
Now, hearing is one thing, but if you’re a visual learner and you want to actually see Lee talking about this very concept from his own garden, we did an episode of our television show, Growing a Greener World that I host on public television stations across the country and beyond. Episode 410 is all about Lee Riech and his weedless gardening methods. If you’re interested in this topic, consider this must-see TV.
Additional Resources & Related Information
Episode 007: Organic Weed Control with Jeff Gillman
Weedless Gardening book by Lee Reich
Episode 410 – Weedless Gardening from Growing a Greener World
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And if you want to get in touch with us there are two great ways. You can leave a comment below.
Or, leaves us a voice message. There’s a tab on the right side of this page to do that. Just click on it and follow the prompts. We’ll get an email with your voice message. And the best part, I’ll be able to respond to your question or comment with a recorded voice message right back to you. It’s a great feature and I hope you’ll take advantage of it!
And thanks again to Rain Bird®: Our podcast episode sponsor and Brand Partner of joe gardener®. They are the company behind the intelligent use of watering, and as you’ve heard today, Lee and I are both big fans of the type of products that Rain Bird makes to give us a healthier lawn and garden. You can find their products online, or anywhere you buy your lawn and garden or outdoor irrigation supplies