Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Weeding with Clover and Water

One way to reduce weeding over time is to pull the weeds before they go to seed.   But you are still pulling weeds and seeds still get into the yard via birds, shoes, wind, on fur, etc. 

The best way to do the weeding is to grow clover.

Clover releases nitrogen into the soil through a bacterial action on the roots of the clover.  It can be "plowed down"  in the winter if your soil needs improving.  Turning it under opens the door for the weeds to come back so you must re-seed the clover immediately after turning it under.  Clover is perfect for bees.  It blooms for a long time and imparts a flavor to honey.  Spreading it to the entire yard is easiest by pulling a bunch out of the ground, taking it to where it is wanted and putting it into soil already loosened and watered for it.  Make certain to keep it watered after that.  If it dries out, it cooks quickly in the sun.  

White clover outcompetes other weeds, fertilizes the soil, improves soil tilth when turned under, re-seeds itself, and can be a good indicator of when you need to water because its roots are so shallow.  Definitely a time saving plant.  Grows to about one foot high.  Red clover grows two to three feet high and can be a problem to other plants you want to cultivate because of the competition for sunlight from a plant that size.

Weeding the driveway or sidewalk happens when cooking dinner.   Take the used boiled water and pour it, while still very hot, on those cute little weeds (or the big ones) growing in the walkways.  Tomorrow they will be brown and dead.  Very inexpensive and satisfying.