In contrast to chemical weeding – applying a product that indiscriminately kills all plants and animals in its way – biodynamic weeding is very different. You only get rid of ‘weeds’ ( a term I don’t like – let’s say a plant that has the audacity to self-seed in the wrong spot) and nothing else. Its neighboring plants, wildlife, and microbes in the soil are left unharmed.
The best time for weeding is generally after a spot of rain. If it falls during the Waning Moon then even better. In fact the closer to the New Moon, the better the long-term outcome.
Another top tip is to start weeding very early – the end of February or early March is the ideal time. If you get the ‘unwanted’ growth when it is still small, it won’t come back and this will save you a lot of time during the rest of the season.
My top tips for weeding:
- In early spring, turn the soil of your planting beds two times on a Fire Day during the Waxing Moon – this will encourage growth.
- After that, you switch to the traditional weeding time – an Earth day during the Waning Moon, the closer to the New Moon the better.
- Use a lot of compost to cover newly weeded ground. Weeds need sunlight to grow. If you deny the young plant sunlight, it has no chance to grow. Here is an article that shows you how to start a compost heap.
- In early spring, pick out weeds by hand as all plants are still small and you don’t want to take the sunlight away from the other ‘wanted’ young plants.
- If you weed just after a spell of rain or when the ground is still moist, the soil releases the weeds plus roots much easier than when the soil is bone dry. If it has not rained for a while, water this patch you intend to weed. After weeding add a layer of compost to keep the soil moist and fertile. Add soil tonics for extra nutrition.
- When some weeds poke their heads up later in the year, cut off their tops and cover them with homemade compost. (see article above)
- In dry times, water your plants, but try to keep off the weeds. Wilted plants are easier to lift than healthy, well-fed ones.
- Let sleeping weeds lie. Kill weeds at their roots but leave the soil—and dormant weed seeds—largely undisturbed – as otherwise, this weeding method could be counterproductive.
- Mulch, mulch, mulch. Don’t give weeds the chance to see the light. This is a double-positive action. Your plants get food and compost which retains moisture in the ground. But as the ‘weeds’ are fully covered, they will not grow well. Although some hardy plants will still find a way to poke through. In which case repeat the above. Cut and mulch.
- Towards the end of the year prepare your plants for the winter by adding compost around the stem to keep them well protected during the cold spells. This will protect your plants from the frost and give them many happy years in your garden.
I hope that has given you a bit of an insight into how biodynamic weeding works. This is particularly important for the food that we eat, We need our fruit and vegetables to grow in a healthy, multi-diverse soil structure. This will produce food that has great taste, is full of flavor and vitamins, and can provide ‘lifeforce’, which has come from the previous season’s produce. All rotted down and well-prepared by the millions of creatures that live in your soil. Don’t kill them. Instead, take care of them and cherish them and they will work wonders for you and the food you grow.
Here is a link to the series The Soil Revolution