Weed Smarter, Not Harder

The same soil conditions that you just freshly prepared for your crops to grow in are also ideal places for weeds to sprout up and they can possibly take over to crowd out the more desirable species that you planted yourself.

However, it's important to realize that what we think of as undesirable weeds serve a purpose too. Weeds can often make use of poorer soils and are particularly capable of retrieving hard to get at minerals. With that said, weeds can choke out the seedlings you planted so be on the lookout and remove them from the bed where you can, but please throw in the compost pile to recycle those important nutrients and make them available to your later crops. Unless you are facing a particularly high density of weeds, or they are behaving very aggressively, it is usually not necessary to micromanage weeds by removing them almost constantly. You should be able to save time and aggravation if you remove a bunch all at once every couple of weeks. This way they are not given too much time to establish themselves and become serious threats to your precious veggie crops, but you won't have spent too much time on this less pleasurable aspect of gardening.

Weeding can be a pain in the beginning, but as the plants in your bed grow they will shade an ever greater area of the bed and crowd out weeds.

When mature, if they are planted fairly close together, the plants you intended to grow will already be competing with each other for most of the available resources and that will leave further weeds with limited opportunities, reducing the amount of weeding attention necessary over time.

If you are unsure what is a weed and what is not a weed in the garden, it is better to wait and ask someone who knows than to potentially pick out the wrong ones, so please ask. Knowing what the plants that you planted look like helps you to figure out what shouldn't be there, so brushing up on some research about your plants can be handy. Some weeds, like dandelions, are even edible, so learning about the weeds themselves can reveal benefits from letting a weed or two grow here and there that you might not have imagined.