Serious Eats

The Urban Gardener: How to Fight Weeds Naturally

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Happy, weed-free summer squash! [Photographs: Lauren Rothman]

In my last post about weeding, I briefly mentioned an organic technique that actually prevents weeds from growing by smothering them under layers of wet newspaper and dry grass clippings.

My seedlings were too small to employ this simple technique—to use it, the plants must be big enough that they themselves won't get smothered, too—but now that the garden is flourishing and things are growing by leaps and bounds, I seized the opportunity to put my plan into action (thereby reducing the hours I spend weeding in the garden, which are many).

It's such a simple and effective, not to mention inexpensive, technique.

Mulching Against Weeds with Newspaper and Grass Clippings: A Guide

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Tomato plants, with newspaper barrier in place.

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Tomato plants, with dry grass clippings layered over newspaper.

You're all set! The damp newspaper will help keep your garden soil moist, and the layer of grass clippings will block sunlight, therefore preventing any weed seeds from sprouting. The mulching system will stay in place for one season; then, it will start to decompose. The paper and grass clippings will disintegrate right into the soil, enriching it in the process. Next season, you can start all over again.

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Happy, weed-free cucumber plants!

What About You?

How are your gardens doing this summer? What's flourishing, and what's struggling? Are you winning the battle against weeds, and which methods are you employing? Let us know in the comments section below!

About the author: Lauren Rothman is a former Serious Eats intern, a freelance catering chef, and an obsessive chronicler of all things culinary. Try the original recipes on her blog, For the Love of Food, and follow her on Twitter @Lochina186.

Printed from http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/06/how-to-get-rid-of-weeds-naturally-urban-gardening.html

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