newbie question: hoeing

lalalaApril 3, 2009

This seems so basic, but I'll ask anyway. I put down a nice layer of fine bark mulch around the shrubs and perennials in my garden in the fall. Now I'm getting the beginnings of weeds springing up, including hundreds of tiny maple shoots. I have read that the easiest non-chemical way to get rid of weeds is to hoe them up while they're still tender in early spring. So: do I rake the mulch aside or can I hoe right through it? I don't want to mix the mulch into the soil and ruin its purpose. But I also don't want to give myself unnecessary labor.

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Slide the hoe under the mulch and pull toward you just skim the surface of the soil. With practice the mulch will separated with the hoes passage and then can be straighted.

Most people use the hoe as a chopping instrument but it is really supposed to be used to cut the plants off at or just below the surface. Cutting at that depth will not stir up as many old seeds as cutting deeper.

It may be easier to just pull the shoots after a rainy day. Sit on a piece of cardboard and start pulling.

I let my oak seedling so too long so now I have a mess.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 10:42PM
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Thanks! That's very helpful. I will probably do a mix of pulling and hoeing.

The maple really seemed to go crazy this year--I can't believe how many shoots there are, all through the lawn and gardens!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 2:05PM
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