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Ready to up your game against weeds? Today in this episode we are going to be talking about the nine tools you have in your tool box as a grower to get rid of those weeds. Every weed has a weakness and these tools will help you find and kill every type of weed under the sun but organically. Let's get growing!

Quick Links

Social Media

Red Ridge Farm Fellow Growers Facebook Group

Time Stamps

Intro 00:46

Definition of a Weed- 3:08

Tool 1 -07:00

Tips and Tricks 14:47

Tool 2-6- 18:25

Growing With God- Hebrews 4:16- 27:48

Tool 7-9- 32:10

Recap 40:36

Weeds are the bane of every gardener!

Every gardener asks, “how will my war on weeds go this year? Will I win? Or the weeds?”

What if I told you that the winner of the war will be the one with the best tools!

Tools? Yes, weeds have tools.

They are the wind, rain, sunshine, time, and the nutrients from the soil that you lovingly cultivated to grow and spread. Some weeds even use our hoes and tillers to exact their revenge on us.

Don't we have tools too? Yes, we do!

Below is a list of the best tools a gardener can use to control weeds organically. But, before I share them with you it's important for me to tell you that they can all become useless in our Wars and on Weeds if we don't use them in the right situations. Every weed has specific weaknesses and we need to use the best tool that can best aggravate that weakness. Our first tool we should use before any other is weed identification.

Tool #1- Weed Identification

My favorite tool for this is the app PlantNet!

  1. To begin you will need to download the app, then just point and shoot! Well, it's a little harder than that here are the steps:

  2. Open plantnet, once it loads to choose your country; this app identifies weeds from around the whole planet, it is so cool!

  3. On the main screen click on the huge camera icon on the bottom menu. Here you can take a picture by clicking on the camera icon again or use the gallery icon to pick a picture you've taken earlier.

  4. Once you have a close up picture of your weed. You will need to identify what part of the plant you are using for identification. Your choices are: leaf, flower, fruit, or bark. Habitat and Other can be used after the weed is identified.

  5. The app will now search for other pictures that are closely related to yours. Look through these and find the best match. Then, click on the green name to get more info.

  6. You can look through the different types of pictures to confirm your identification.

  7. The “W” will give you a description of your plant on and the “I” gives a list of the common names and some links you can follow to get more information!

Now that you know what you are battling, let's talk about their weaknesses. A weed’s weakness is also their advantage! Let me explain, our main goal is to stop weeds from spreading.

Tip: The way they spread is their #1 tool.

If one of your favorite organic tools to control weeds is not included in the following list, leave a comment and share it with all of us! I love seeing what other gardeners are using!

Tool #2- Garden Hoe

There are many different kinds of hoes, but all can be divided into two types; drawn or scuffle. A drawn hoe has a blade set at a 90 degree angle from the shaft. It is used by chopping into the ground and then the blade is pulled (drawn) towards you. I think this is the most common hoe sold in hardware stores.

Tip: They are very ineffective and take lots of strength to use.

The scuffle hoe is used to scrape the soil, loosen the top 2 inches and cut the weeds off at the root. Two designs of this type of hoe are the dutch (Flat blade) and the hoop (Stirrup hoe). The Stirrup hoe is my favorite tool, this type of hoe is more precise and easier on the back!

Tip: if you have weeds that spread by severed root then this tool will only be a short-term solution.

Spread: seed, roots

Tool #3- String Trimmer says “a string trimmer, also called a “weed eater” or “weed wacker” is a garden tool for cutting and grass and ground covers which has a flexible filament line instead of a blade.” In short, it can be used to cut down weeds.

Tip: this tool is best used to cut down large amounts of weeds before their seeds ripen and drop. This is called topping. If you want to learn more about organic weed control methods, read 12 Ways to Stop Your Weed Frustrations Organically

Spread: seeds

Tool #4- Landscape Fabric/ Newspaper

Landscape fabric is a textile material that is used to control weeds by inhibiting their exposure to sunlight. It is hard to use this tool in a ground vegetable garden, but it works great in the newly-established flower beds or paths in a raised bed garden. One thing to remember is that this is usually made of woven polypropylene and is not biodegradable. Newspapers can be used in the same way but it is biodegradable. This is a better option for veggie gardens because it can be cleaned up in the fall and added to the compost pile. Both of these are usually covered by some kind of mulch.(Tool #8)

Tip: newspaper is best used to establish flower beds that have flowers that spread by seed. The newspaper will suppress weeds for about a year and will break down allowing your flower seeds to take root and grow.

Spread: root, seed, and severed root

Tool #5- Gardening Knife (hori hori knife)

The gardening knife is a multi-purpose knife that can be used for almost any type of gardening task; digging, weeding, pruning, transplanting, harvesting and so much more. This type of knife is great for cutting a weed that has a strong taproot off deep below the soil when hand weeding is necessary!

Tip: this is best done after watering so the soil is easy to cut through to get to the taproot.

Spread: seed,root

Tool #6- Garden Gloves

Garden gloves are worn to protect the hands from soil, water, and cold. They're usually made from lightweight cotton, leather, or a waterproof material such as rubber. They essentially are used to protect your hands while hand weeding. I know, hand weeding is not my favorite either but this is a great time to enjoy the quiet.

Tip: they're great for weeding around roses and pulling thistle!

Spread: seed, root

Tool #7- Mindset

“I do some of my best thinking when I'm pulling weeds.” Martha Smith

As I said before, hand-weeding can be the bane of your existence or it can be the time spent alone with your thoughts. This all has to do with mindset. I often use this time in the garden to pray and listen to the Lord! The Lord is with us wherever we are!

Tip: If you find you've run out of things to say to the Lord because you've let your weeds get out of control you could always use this time to listen to your favorite garden podcast or audiobook.

Spread: seed, root, severed root

Tool #8- Mulch

Mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of soil, to conserve moisture, improve fertility, reduce weeds, and/or to make your landscape visually appealing. Mulch can be used in combination with tool #4 (Landscape Fabric/Newspaper). Types of organic mulch include; grass clippings(free of feed and weed herbicide), leaves, hay, straw, bark, sawdust, wood chips, shredded newspaper, cardboard, and peat moss.

Tip: Make sure whatever mulch you use is weed seed free.

Spread: root, seed, severed root

Tool #9- Weeding Schedule

Weeding is best done when your weeds are young. Young weeds are smaller and usually don't have a strong root system. This makes it easier to control them. Implementing a weekly or daily weeding schedule in your garden plan will help you stay ahead. Weeds grow 24 hours a day, which makes our best tool; steady progress. Kind of like the tortoise in the Tortoise and the Hare Fable.

Tip: Weed seeds germinate every seven days and become hard to handle 4 days later.

Spread: root, seed, severed root

Now that you know your best tools against weeds don't hesitate to use them.

Remember every tool works best when utilized against the right weed.

Till next time,

Pray, Just Plant!

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