Safe Chemical Herbicides  

Yes. Chemistry and chemical engineering. This science has evolved greatly in the past 50 years. We were first alerted to its indiscriminate use in serious efforts to control everything and anything that threatened the outcome of our crops. Today there are many chemicals that, when used properly, are less likely to cause harm to humans, animals and the environment than some ecological techniques and processes.

“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.” ~Doug Larson

Serious Weed Control

If you are serious about vegetable gardening and want to grow them every year, and enjoy your harvest with the least possible physical strain, there are things you can do to make the effort enjoyable. Like any serious endeavor it may require a monetary investment over and above what you shelled out for the basic materials.

If you’ve made the initial investment in soil and seed, plants and fertilizer and selected a plot your going to grow your garden on, then why not take it a few steps farther and rent or  invest in a good efficient and reliable mechanized plow such as a roto-tiller to help you get your soil ready for planting. Even if you purchase a used or reconditioned one the cost of it will be returned to you in abundance at harvest time for as long as you own it.

No. I don’t sell roto-tillers, but I know that weeds keep growing back and controlling them is a lot of work that is made easy by the use of a good roto-tiller, or what is more properly called a mechanized plow. With the right attachments. a machine such as this can practically assure you of proper soil preparation and maintenance. This type of soil churning can prepare your soil and help to greatly reduce the weed problems before they exist.

Another way is pre-treatment, such as putting down of a pre–germinating herbicide that can help weeds from ever developing. Just make sure you get the right one. You don’t want one that will adversely affect your vegetable seeds or transplants. Selecting the proper seeds will also help. Try to start with some fast growing shading vegetables with big leaves, like Swiss Chard, Collards or Rhubarb, that will block some of the sunlight that weeds need to develop. Plant them according to the depth charts and give them enough water and fertilizer to get a head start against the weeds. Other natural covers that will help suppress weeds are manure, bark chips, sawdust and leaves. Even with all this preparation you may still get a few. Grab them up early and its still worth the effort.


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First things first - As the name suggests, raised bed gardening involves planting your plants in a bed that is off the ground rather than planting directly into the soil. Raised beds come in all different sizes, and there are many different kinds of receptacles for raised beds, depending on the size and where you want to hang the beds.

The ability to manage the soil is one of the most significant benefits of using the raised bed. Because you choose and mix the ground yourself, you can create the perfect soil environment for the plants you want to grow. That means even if you're going to grow plants that don't typically thrive in your area because of your local soil composition, you can grow them in raised planters in which you have created the perfect soil for those plants.

There are other benefits to raised areas as well, even if the soil is not an issue in your area. Another significant advantage to consider is the way the raised beds let you target the use of things you put on your garden. Apply fertilizer and mulch where they are needed - and there only - so you end up using less and do not accidentally apply these things where they are not required. If you use chemical pesticides, herbicides or insecticides, you can use a smaller amount of them, and again, you can target their use. Because you apply them only to the raised bed, you don't have to worry about runoff or the effects these chemicals can have on your pets or kids who play in your yard. All in raised bed gardening makes for more efficient planting.

One great benefit of a raised gardening bed that is the fact that the planting area is, in fact, elevated. Since the garden is not ground level, it is much easier to tend. Garden enthusiasts with back problems will love being able to see their plants and manage them without bending over and dealing with hours of painful work. Raised areas are ideal for people with joint pain and injuries that make it difficult for them to garden traditionally.

Although raised garden beds have all of these benefits and make different kinds of gardening possible in areas where the soil is not ideal, the beds can't trump every problem a garden may face. You still need to consider the climate in your area and choose plants accordingly - raised planters or not, and tropical plants won't grow in snowy climates. Also, you will still need to pay attention to what level of sunlight your garden area gets and choose your plants with that in mind. Further, although most people with raised beds deal with less pest infestation, you will still need some way to deal plant-munching insects. Even though raised beds can't fix everything, however, they are still a great option when soil limits the way you garden.

Lawrence L. Hoyle, author, 57 years in the Landscape Profession. Check out his main website at: This website has free Landscape help for Do-It-Yourselves and a online Landscape Design Services for Homeowners, Landscape Contractors and Home Builders. Designing online since 2003 with designs in 40 states. Get Your Special Landscape Design today.!

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