While learning to take care of my yard, (and I use ‘take care’ very loosely, it’s much more try not to kill), I read an excellent bit of advice by a local Calgary blogger on top dressing your beds with compost. The idea is not to rake the topsoil which loosens up weed seeds and brings them up to germinate, but to simply pile a thick layer on, like mulch. The compost will break down over time, feed the soil and you get a nice thick weed suppressing layer.
When we were building the raised beds we ordered some garden soil and compost, which we subsequently proceeded to spread all over the lawn, in the bed, in all the flower beds, and in general shared the bounty over several hours of back breaking labor.
Since I’m still a beginner enough gardener and yard care-taker that I get excited every time we cut the grass and pull some weeds, I wanted to share with you the fact that top dressing with compost is a phenomenal way to control weeds, a fact that I discovered this weekend, and that delights me to no end. Since we piled on the compost like it’s going out of style, the weeds that grow through it pull out with a phenomenal ease. Remember that we have clay soil and typically pulling weeds is like wrestling an alligator, requiring some upper body strength and stamina. But the weeds in the beds just slide right out, tap root intact. It’s like pulling candles out of cake. It’s magic.
If anyone else has nifty techniques for fighting weeds, please share. I’ll need all the help I can get.