It’s Spring, right? If you are like me, then you’ve been waiting for this time of year to sit back and watch those gorgeous bulbs you planted last Fall bloom. You’ve been looking forward to cutting a few Rose Stems and placing them in a Vase or Vintage Cruet. You’ve been busy planning a few Summer parties and having some friends over. While the pictures are perfect in your mind, reality suddenly sets in: those weeds growing all around your property are not setting the mood for festivities and worst, they are not inviting.
Weeding is a time consuming activity which no one really enjoys doing. Here in the High Desert, weeds are a nuisance and a year-round problem for Home and Business owners. Those of us with huge, open lands know exactly what I am talking about. I don’t mean the task of removing weeds on your Lawn or Garden/Garden beds. I am talking about weeding open fields with wild plants growing on them. No matter what we do and how we handle them, they simply won’t go away. Most weedkillers (especially Chemicals) are expensive, harmful and often ineffective. Let’s explore some temporary options to consider:
- Gravel. You could spread a thick layer of gravel on top of a landscape fabric. This is good for a few years until the fabric start degrading and you have to remove all the gravel and replace the fabric. Keep in mind that weed can still grow over the fabric and other elements will get trapped and pile up since the landscape fabric prevents natural soil filtration to occur. When you look at it this way Mulch seems to be a better alternative.
- Tractor. Use it to cut weeds and then level the ground. You will next to repeat the process the following year.
- Herbicides. Keep in mind that just like people, plants too are different. So not all herbicides work on all plants.
- Chemicals. These should be your last option and must be used cautiously. They are not Eco-friendly and could be harmful to other plants as well as animals.
- Herbivorous. Animals such as Goats, Horses, Cows, Rabbits, Tortoises, Sheep, Donkeys, Kakapos, Geese and many others can help rid your property of weeds by eating them.
Grass is not an option. Aside from being costly (installation and maintenance) it doesn’t solve the weed issues.
- YOU. You have to figure out what your desire is and then connect it to your determination.
Our Approach: Divide and Conquer
If you can, remove weeds before they set seed to keep them from seeding and spreading.
When weeding, we only use three gardening tools: The Rake, Hand Shovel and the Draw Hoe.
- We start weeding as early as the last two weeks of February (when the chances of a Snow Storm are minimal, the ground is still slightly wet from the rain/snow). At that time the weeds are a lot easier to pull since they have not yet established a strong root system. One advantage of starting early is that the weather is much cooler and we don’t feel as exhausted as we would have on a hot day.
- Our ‘weeding trips’ are never planned. We only weed when we feel like doing it. By not focusing and obsessing too much about the weeds we are able to plan a strategy on getting the job done the best way we can.
- Divide and Conquer! This is the key to getting the job done on time. We divide the job into small squares and then tackle one square at a time. It makes it easier to see your progress and will take you about a minute to do each square and another to rake the weeds out of it.
How many times have you made up you mind to go out there and weed just to get there, fully prepared and be paralyzed with an overwhelming feeling – not knowing where to begin?