Ben Futa, Director, Allen Centennial Gardens
Greetings from the Allen Centennial Garden on the UW-Madison campus. Allen Centennial Garden is a 2.5 acre public garden with 27 themed garden spaces and thousands of plants on display. Like many of you, we’ve had above average and regular rainfall this season – which is great news for our gardens, but it also means our crop of weeds has been robust!
One question we hear frequently from our visitors is how we control our weeds. No matter the garden, weeds are always an issue, but there are certainly things you can do to minimize their prevalence.
Weeds are Mother Nature’s mechanism for repairing “damaged” soil (bare or exposed) and making it habitable for other plants to move in and colonize. This means Mother Nature is happiest when the soil is completely covered by plant material. One of the easiest tools for weed control is to plant more plants! Fill in the gaps and the holes between plants, increase your floral diversity, and embrace intimacy between the plants in your garden. Before long, weeds will become a thing of the past, and you’ll have a more robust, colorful, lively garden to show for it! (Plus, it’s a great motivation to support your local garden centers and nurseries and buy more plants! As if any of us really needed a reason…)