The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

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July 16, 2012

Ways to combat garden weeds

Monday, July 16, 2012 — Weeds … something that all gardeners fight and no one wants. In both the vegetable garden and the flower garden, we must remember to first use our head and not our hoe.

Now there are some weeds that I must admit to finding somewhat attractive; oxalis is one of those, appearing more like a blooming clover than a weed. And then there is white clover; although an invasive weed, both the bees and the bunnies seem to enjoy it. The common plantain must be one of the most drought tolerant weeds that I have ever seen, and the wild violet is one pretty bloom that I do tend to save.

No matter what your weeds may be there are a few tips that can help save time and energy when it comes to weeding the garden. Consider some of the following ideas:

Plant in groups or blocks — exposed soil is a prime area for weeds to emerge. If you mulch around the individual plants, this also blocks soil from weed growth while helping to retain moisture.

Consider the pathways — the paths between planting blocks may also become infested with weeds. Using cardboard (even old pizza boxes) and newspaper covered with pine straw, mulch, or shredded leaves make great weed barriers. These biodegradable weed blocks also amend your garden soil in the years to come.

Remember the seeds — weed seeds lay dormant deep beneath the soil surface. Once tilled these dormant seeds are brought to the surface where they quickly germinate.

Edging the garden — a well established edge can keep grass from creeping into the vegetable and flower garden.

Organic herbicides — there are some natural and organic herbicides available on the market; however, natural mulching is an effective and safe alternative.

Remember — every weed is vying for the same nutrients, water, and sun that your flowers and vegetables need to flourish. A bountiful harvest is closer to becoming reality when those pesky weeds are not taking over their space.

The Stanly County Farmers Market provides the local community with the freshest locally grown meats, fruits, vegetables, herbs, ornamental plants, and flowers available. Shopping the local Market offers you an opportunity to provide healthy, beneficial foods to your family. It also supports the local agricultural economy.

Shopping locally creates local jobs; it also creates community. Shop local and eat fresh.

The Stanly County Farmers Market is in historic downtown Albemarle at Market Station, 100 Railroad St. (near the intersection of U.S. 52 and West Main Street).

Visit the Stanly County Farmers Market, Albemarle, from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on the following days:

Saturdays through Oct. 27; Wednesdays through Aug. 29.

For additional information about the Market contact: Albemarle Downtown Development Cor-poration, (704) 984-9415, or

View Farmers’ Market info online at


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