Keep That Veggie Garden Full!

20170714A.gifI hope that, by now, you are already reaping delicious fresh vegetables from your garden… but, as you harvest them, don’t forget that it’s never wise to leave empty spaces in a vegetable garden. An empty spot is an open invitation to weeds, as if you were saying, “Come set up shop here, there’s no competition!”

Of course, often slower growing vegetables will lend you a helping hand, covering the space with their ever-expanding foliage. For example, by lettuce harvest time, nearby plants of kale or cabbage may already be crowding out your lettuce, so when you pull it, their big leaves quickly cover the soil. Perfect! You won’t have to do anything.

Otherwise, you can sow a second crop of fast maturating vegetables and herbs: lettuce, spinach, bok choy, beets, cilantro, dill, etc. (This is called succession planting.) They’ll quickly cover the soil and shade any intruders out.

If you don’t want to fill in the blanks with plants, at least cover the soil with a thick mulch (at least 4 inches/10 cm)  to prevent unwanted plants from germinating.

It’s much easier to prevent weeds in your garden then to try and get them out after the fact.

Garden writer and blogger, author of more than 60 gardening books, the laidback gardener, Larry Hodgson, lives and gardens in Quebec City, Canada. The Laidback Gardener blog offers more than 2,500 articles to passionate home gardeners, always with the goal of demystifying gardening and making it easier for even novice gardeners. If you have a gardening question, enter it in Search: the answer is probably already there!

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