We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I use Preen on our perennial beds and shrub borders. I think Mrs. BD, the Weeder-in-Chief, appreciates it, but my Mom gives me heck for using it since she views it as lazy and possibly not environmentally acceptable.
As I understand it, it mainly prevents seeds from germinating. What's wrong with that? Yes, we mulch too, but seeds germinate in mulch.
Weeding plantings to make fresh space for the new weeds no longer interests me. I'd rather be playing tennis.
We have no dandelions in our yard - the guinea pigs ate them to the roots. Put the pig on the weed, place a clothes basket over her and let her go! Munch, munch and - viola- no weeds. Sure it takes a while and you have to pay attention but even the greenest of the green can't argue with the technique. Plus, the pig fertilizes on the spot!!
I become sick to my stomach from just the smell of insecticides, etc. Maybe that's a blessing in disguise because who knows what we could get from them. So I've turned to organic gardening. Although I used corn gluten for weeds, I still got my share. It usually comes down to pulling them out one by one.
i calculated not long ago, of an afternoon when i felt perky enough to launch off on trying to create some sort of a painted or sculpted or written or melodic piece of not famous but simply enduring art, that i had spent almost two full days per month on mowing, pruning, housepainting and so forth --all those things you do because that's what you do come a weekend in the semi-tropical wet parts of the deep south --for forty years.
Why, i could've learnt bluegrass fiddlin'!
Instead i shoved or rode a briggs and stratton around in an uncountable number of shrinking spirals, over the half dozen long-term residences since i was 10 or so in the big family and then paterfamilias of the little family, spirals that for all the world ape the motion of a flowing down into a drain.
So when i had that thought the other day, it so disturbed me i had to go mow.
1) Lay down plastic or agrifabric, then cover with wood chips or other coarse mulch that will take years to break down. Nothing penetrates these barrier sheets (although the agrifabric lets water through).
2) Do away with annual flower beds - or limit their size - and plant flowering perennial cover crops, roots, and bulbs. They spread and smother everything else as they compete. Go to your garden center and buy everything marked "hardy perennial" and "invasive" or "spreading". Plant in drifts by height.
Do the same each year with bulbs, and let them naturalize.
Let these plants mature and scatter their seeds.
Showy flowering annuals get relegated to a small cutting garden near the house.
Preen is super-fantastic! Talk about effective! I do one Preen application at the beginning of the season in my garden and along the edges of the patio. Then it's only yanking a few weeds after that. I'm trying the corn-gluten on my lawn this year.