June 13th Is National Weed Your Garden DayMay 29th, 2012 by Craig Mullins
June seems to be a very popular month for gardening holidays, as this is the third such post I’ve written in the past few days – June 3rd-9th Is National Garden Week and June 6th Is National Gardening Exercise Day being the first two.
It may not seem like it on the surface, but National Weed Your Garden Day is a very important day. Weeds can be deadly to your garden, your pets, as well as you and your family. Even if they’re not harmful or poisonous, weeds are simply an eyesore and have no place in a well-tended garden.
“A herbaceous plant not valued for use or beauty, growing wild and rank, and regarded as cumbering the ground or hindering the growth of superior vegetation… Applied to a shrub or tree, especially to a large tree, on account of its abundance in a district… An unprofitable, troublesome, or noxious growth.” [source]
Plants that are considered to be weeds include:
Bermuda grass – perennial, spreading by runners, rhizomes and seeds.
Broadleaf plantain – perennial, spreads by seeds that persist in the soil for many years
Burdock – biennial
Common lambsquarters – annual
Creeping Charlie – perennial, fast-spreading plants with long creeping stems
Dandelion – perennial, wind-spread, fast-growing, and drought-tolerant
Goldenrod – perennial
Kudzu – perennial
Leafy spurge – perennial, with underground stems
Milk thistle – annual or biennial
Poison ivy – perennial
Ragweed – annual
Sorrel – annual
St John’s wort – perennial
Sumac – woody perennial
Wild carrot – biennial
Wood sorrel – perennial
Yellow nutsedge – perennial
Here are some non-toxic weeding tips to help you on National Weed Your Garden Day and year-round:
1. Rid your soil of weeds by letting them grow about an inch before uprooting them from wet soil. This will help ensure complete removal of the weed from the root level, stunting further growth.
2. Lightly spraying the area with garlic water or neem water will help keep the soil disease and weed free.
3. To tackle the weeds found in your lawn, spray the area with soap water and vinegar or add rock salt to the sod.
4. Mulch your garden beds and paths to help prevent the growth of weeds.
According to HortMag.com, the best tools for weeding fall into two categories – long handled and short handled. Long handled tools are used from a standing position in larger areas, while short handled tools work best when on your knees in small closely-planted areas.
Short-handled weeding tools:
- Cape Cod weeder: has a narrow hooked blade that fits into tight spaces
- asparagus knife: has a long narrow blade with a v-shaped tip for prying up individual weeds, especially in the lawn or groundcovers
- trowel: handheld shallow shovel with either a wide or narrow blade that can lift weeds from under their roots without disturbing other plants
- hori-hori knife: sharp-bladed knife originally used by bonsai enthusiasts in Japan to collect specimens from stony mountain soil. Also useful for transplanting, digging and pruning.
- onion hoe (hand hoe, rock garden hoe): a short-handled version of a draw hoe. Used for precision weeding between closely grown plants.
Long-handled weeding tools:
- stirrup hoe (Dutch hoe, scuffle hoe): has a stirrup-like head that is sharp on both edges. It cuts weeding time because it works in a push-pull motion, covering a lot of ground quickly.
- draw hoe: has a sharp-edged rectangular head that uproots and chops weeds as the gardener pulls it toward him
- collinear hoe: has a long and narrow rectangular blade that sweeps the soil, something like a razor blade.
Happy National Weed Your Garden Day!
Do you have any weeding tips? We’d love you to share them in the comments section below!