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 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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