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Weeds, Climate Change and Mulching

Just what we need to hear as we undertake the annual battle for weed control in our gardens…

Weeds grow more rapidly under elevated atmospheric CO2. Under projections reported in the assessment, weeds migrate northward and are less sensitive to herbicide applications.

» Reports Paint Pictures of the Future of US Food and Water Supply act-adapt.org: Adaptation to Climate Change Team

Although I really don’t like lawns, a healthy lawn can do a lot to reduce the likelihood of weed overrun. But even better options are having a healthy garden and using plenty of mulch, whether it’s partially decomposed leaves, grass clippings from that small patch of lawn you retained after turning everything else into garden beds, or thickly laid wood chips.

As an added benefit, mulch helps retain soil moisture and encourages organic material to build up. My favourite method of mulching is sheet mulching, which is seen in the picture below. This is an easy method of converting large areas of grass or weeds into a beautiful, productive garden bed. It works by blocking light to the grass, and providing new nutrients to help build the soil. Depending on the time of year you start, this can prepare gardens in a couple of effortless months.

sheet mulching

Now of course none of this will stop climate change, but it will possibly help limit the effects in your neck of the woods.

Some links to sheet mulching techniques that get into specifics are Sheet Mulching at Wikipedia and at Agroforestry.net.

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.