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Controlling Weeds in the Vegetable Garden

Making It Grow! Minute logo

  Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The parts of my garden that have two to three inches of mulch applied have noticeable fewer, although still some, weeds than the few areas left with bare soil. I use coastal Bermuda hay, a sterile hybrid, and my provider does a good job keeping it free of weed seeds. But the heavy rains we had in the spring ruined several harvesting of hay and I am on a list – anxiously waiting for fifty bales. In desperation, I have been taking home cardboard boxes and putting them under running squash vines and between my young perennial pollinator plants. Newspaper is an easy and inexpensive mulch, but if it dries ou,t it blows all over the neighborhood. Mulch helps retain soil moisture, moderates soil temperature, and keeps particles of soil which may carry diseases from splashing up against the stems of your vegetable plants.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.