Saturday, May 24, 2014

How to get a weed-free garden

Over the last twenty-five years, I have made a plethora of flower beds. For the first few, I would wake up one day with flowers on my mind, decide to put a flower bed in a certain place, dig it up, put plants in the ground, and cover it all with mulch. The grass from what was former lawn plagued me for years. 

One year, my farm hand convinced me to use barn yard fertilizer in my new flower bed. Unfortunately, it was a little too fresh, replete with seed heads, and yielded a harvest of grain along with the flowers. I'm still pulling wheat from that flower bed. 

Roundup worked pretty well, as did pre-emerge, but neither suited my organic heart. Eventually, I decided to tackle the weed problem with the barrier method. I tried black plastic on the ground, thicker black plastic, wet newspaper, cardboard, and a combination of wet newspaper and wet cardboard. Those all had their merits, but time and rot took their toll and  weeds always returned. 

One day, I was heading out my front door, whining about weeds all the way to the car. I didn't have time for a major weeding, so I stooped down and pulled three weeds. Because they were tall enough to be noticeable, the three weeds made a noticeable difference. That evening, I pulled three more weeds on my way in the door. Over the next few days, I continued to use the "Rule of three", and pull three weeds on the way out, three on the way in the door. By the weekend, the front landscaping was nearly weed-free. 

I still try to use the "Rule of three" in weeding and it works better than you might imagine. It turned out that the way to have a weed-free flower bed is diligence, not chemicals or barriers, although those can certainly help. 

The thing we sometimes forget is that the garden of our heart requires diligence to keep it weed-free, (or sin-free) too. As I write, I can think of more than three weeds there that need to be pulled. What about you? How is the weeding going in the garden of your heart? Do you like what you find growing there? If not, ask God to help you pull it out by the roots, and don't delay. There's not much better than a weed-free garden, except, of course, a sin-free heart.