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weed war: part 2

I was out pulling weeds again today. This is not my favorite garden chore, but I don't mind it much. I usually pull a few weeds whenever I'm in the garden, even if I'm primarily outside to relax. Some of us are habitual weed pullers. My next door neighbor Betty is like this. She'll come up to my yard to chat, and as we stand talking about the weather or politics or the latest local happening, she will bend over and start pulling my weeds. Betty is a good neighbor.

Yanking weeds out by the roots is one good way to get rid of them. Spraying them with Round-up is another. Round-up kills anything it touches, but it is relatively ecologically friendly, because it doesn't travel in the soil or linger around to kill future plants. I'm careful with it and never spray on a breezy day. Our house once was surrounded by acres of poison oak, but thanks to Round-up that's not much of a problem now.

One of my favorite ways to kill weeds is to smother them. I have used this method throughout my garden. I like to put brown paper grocery sacks on top of the offending area, then cover the sacks with pine straw or other mulch. The area immediately looks a thousand times better. The sacks and mulch will break down to enrich the soil, and it's easy to make holes for planting.

Lately many grocery stores prefer to use plastic sacks instead of brown bags. I hate those little plastic sacks. But, If brown paper sacks aren't available, newspaper can be used instead.

This summer photo of the front garden shows how nice the paper sack/pine straw technique looks. 

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