I always knew the first year would be weedy. Until the plants are established and because I didn’t put a thick layer of mulch down (here’s why), weeds will pop up.
I’m taking a pretty relaxed attitude towards them. In the main, I want to stop them seeding and creating more weeds, so I’ll keep an eye out and chop off any seed heads that develop. But as most of the weeds are annuals, over time they will be crowded out by the perennials I’ve planted.
That’s not to say I’m ignoring the weeds. Because this garden is is in a prominent location, I’m aware I don’t want it to become a weedy mess. So I go through from time to time and remove the worst offenders.
Right now, the most prolific of these is crabgrass. The previous lawn here was infested with it – as are other lawns up the street. So I knew the seedbank here would have thousands of crabgrass seeds ready to germinate. I’m removing some, and I’ll do my best to chop off the flowers and seedheads when they start appearing this month.
My favourite weeding tool right now is the Dutch hoe (pictured at the top of this page). It has a sharp blade that cuts just below the surface of the soil, slicing off the weeds. I can then go around and pick them up – or just leave them to become their own mulch.
I can’t say I enjoy weeding, but it’s part of the job in this first year – before the plants do the weeding for me.