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THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2016
The Rockaway Times
Your Rockaway Garden
GETTINGRIDOFWEEDS
ByAlexBerkowitz
This past week, I met with a new
client who was very frustrated with
her garden and came to Sungold
Design Group for help. She moved
intoanewhomelastyearandwant-
ed to do everything DIY-including
the landscaping. The only problem
is that the yardwas completely cov-
eredwithweeds! Likemany home-
owners, she went to the home
improvement store and was told
to cover the entire property with a
well-known chemical weed killer,
andlet thecoldofwinterdotherest.
Needless to say, it’s spring, and her
yardisagaininundatedwithweeds.
I completely felt her frustration- all
she wanted was a beautiful space
where her two toddlers could play
and her husband could hang out
with his friends- but what she had
was a gardening disaster. I know
there are many homeowners out
there who have the same issues as
my client, so for this week in Your
Rockaway Garden, I’m going to
share some tips and advice to help
keepthosepeskyweeds incheck.
First, put down that container
of chemical weed killer. There are
many chemical weed killers on the
market and they are not 100 per-
cent effective. There have been
claims made by studies that a key
ingredient in these herbicides,
Glyphosate, can be linked to
health issues in humans and pets.
There are non-toxic alternatives
than can be just as effective, with
no damage to your health or the
Earth. Adda 1:1mix of white vine-
gar andwater toa spraybottle and
spray directly at the base of the
weeds.The acid in the vinegarwill
burn the leaves and roots and will
make the weeds easier to get rid
of. If that doesn’t work, increase
the amount of vinegar and spray
more frequently.
In my experience the best way
toget ridofweeds iswitha littleel-
bowgreaseand the right tools.Us-
ing a garden hoe, tilt the tool on a
45-degree angle and rake through
the garden weeds. This will al-
low it to cut under the weeds and
yank themout completely. Weeds
spread one of twoways: by root or
by seed- so make sure you get the
roots and flowers out of the dirt.
Preventionisthekeytoaweedfree
garden and lawn. Mulching the soil
suppresses weeds and also keeps in
moisture, which is a win-win. For
vegetable patches, there are some
biodegradable plastic mulches out
there that are used in farming, and
work on a small scale. If you’re land-
scaping an areawith shrubs you can
lay down fabricmulch that will form
abarrierthatweedscan’tgetthrough.
You’llwanttocoverthefabricupwith
some natural mulch or rocks to give
the landscape a finished look. Keep
grassmovedtoabout2”-4”,andwhen
youseeaweed,yankitoutandreseed
thebarespotimmediately.
A beautiful garden requires a
lot of TLC and a bit of patience,
and unfortunately there are no
“quick fixes” out there that are
free of consequences. For the
health and safety of your family,
friends, andpets, I always recom-
mend natural solutions. In next
week’s column, we’ll get back to
talking about creating a gorgeous
flower-cutting garden to make
your own bouquets.
Alex is the Founder and Land-
scapeDesigner forSungoldDesign
Group, LLC a landscape design
and installation firm in Rocka-
way Beach & NYC. Her website is
www.sungolddesign.comand can
be reached at 718-551-6333.
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