Taking care of soil and weeds in Southern California gardens(Read article summary)
Should Southern California gardeners cultivate their soil? And what are the best ways to get rid of common weeds?
Courtesy of Gerald Burke
The soil — should I cultivate or not? The weeds — pull, cut, or use chemicals?
These are questions every gardener has, and there are several answers, some better than others.
In southern California, land of never-ending sunshine (except when it rains) and usually clement weather, how we work with our garden often spells success or failure.
Benefits of cultivating the soil
Cultivation is a question we face every day, and because it’s work, we sometimes shun it. But working the soil is an age-old custom, and has plenty of adherents, and I’m one.
Having grown up on a farm, I believe strongly in cultivating the soil, loosening it up to provide a mulch on top and to work in the organic matter I put down earlier, eliminating a few weeds, and maybe other benefits I don’t even know.
It is work, but it’s good work, and I usually enjoy it. I use a scarifier — it’s like a hoe except that it has prongs rather than a blade, and is easy to use, and you don’t usually run the risk of cutting off a plant. With it you can loosen up the soil to a depth of around an inch to two inches.
Does it work? I think so, but I have to admit that plenty of people I consider good gardeners don’t believe in cultivation as a regular chore. But I’m going to continue to do it.