The dreaded task every summer. Weeding. I remember hating this chore as a kid. My parents would hand me a plastic bag and off I went finding all the unwanted weeds in our fairly large yard.
If I would have known the importance of weeding maybe I would have looked at it a bit differently. As an adult, I know that keeping a healthy yard means putting in a little effort to help the garden grow. I’m a proud mama when I see my tulips bloom and the plump red strawberries magically appear.
I want to share with you the benefits of weeding and as you read through them you will understand why you should weed the land around you.
Why Should You Weed? 15 Benefits of Weeding
- You don’t have to spray toxic weed killers. Herbicides can be harmful to pets, kids playing in the yard, and the runoff from your yard may lead to open water sources.
- Weeds serve as hosts for insects and diseases that are then passed on to your healthy plants.
- Pests and rodents will make their homes in weeds, especially if you don’t pull them all out before the cold winter where they want to take refuge.
- Weeds compete for the nutrients in the soil that you want your vegetables to benefit from. Your vegetables won’t get what they need and won’t be as productive or nutritious as they could be.
- Weeds suck up the water and steal the sunlight that your yard needs more.
- Weeds block the sight of fruit and flowers that pollinators need to see and sense.
- Weeds reduce the fertility status of your soil and rob a crop of its yield potential.
- Weeds may reduce the value of your land.
- Removing weeds all year long means less next year.
- Weeds have good nutrients so are beneficial to your compost pile.
- Pulling weeds keeps you active and helps strengthen muscles.
- Connecting to the earth is therapeutic and clears the mind.
- It’s educational. Not only do you learn to recognize weeds, but you can learn how to better the space around you by taking care of the trees, plants, grasses, soils, flowers, vegetables, fruits, and more.
- It can be a family activity that gets everyone outside and working together.
- Weeds are ugly! For the most part.
Tips on How to Weed Successfully
Bring along the right tools. A kneeler and a weed knife make the chore much easier. Don’t forget the garden gloves (these are my fav!) for those sticky ones.
Weed a little every day. Many people (myself included!) usually make it a weekly chore, but their seeds spread fast and roots can already grow deep if you wait too long.
Pull gently and be mindful of the plants around you to not disturb their root system.
Easiest when the soil is damp. I always go out the day after a rain.
Once pulled don’t let the weeds sit around on the soil or they will seed again.
Be sure to grab all the weed AND its root.
If a weed is too tough to pull just cut off the head. It will slowly die. You will probably have to cut off the head more than once.
Add a thick layer of mulch on top of the soil but help with weed control.
Don’t have a yard? Well you definitely don’t have to worry about weeds, but you may still want to grow fresh herbs. Here is an idea for Growing Herbs in Recycled Bottles.
I’ll admit I still don’t love pulling weeds as an adult, but if the weather is just right and I can get the family out to help, then it is worth it. I want to be proud of my yard when my neighbors drive by. I want my trees and flowers to grow healthy and strong. The benefits of weeding outweigh the negatives for me and this summer I look forward to the task ahead.