Where Do Weeds Come From?

Weeds are likely one of the most common and most frustrating challenges that gardeners and landscapers face when creating and maintaining beautiful lawns and gardens. You may be tempted to look for topsoil that guarantees to be “weed-free” in hopes of avoiding weeds altogether, but as someone once said: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. At Greely Sand & Gravel, we sell high-quality, certified organic topsoil, but we do not guarantee that our soil is weed free. Read on to find out why!

As you’ve probably noticed from observing your lawn or garden, weeds grow and spread very quickly. Once weeds have become established, it becomes difficult to remove them and contain their spread. Many weeds produce tiny seeds that are spread via the air and wind throughout their surrounding area. While we regularly and carefully screen all our topsoil for germinated weeds and other unwanted debris such as stones or twigs, it is impossible to screen out the miniscule weed seeds that can blow into the soil. We do our best to keep the soil covered and contained to minimize the spread of weed seeds, however, removing all possibility of weed seeds mixing with soil is impossible.

Some topsoils undergo a sterilizing process to kill weed seeds by heating the soil to very high temperatures, or using a chemical compound to eradicate weeds. While these processes may be somewhat effective, at Greely Sand & Gravel, we do not do anything or add anything to our topsoil that would compromise our organic certification. Additionally, these measures become less effective once your soil is spread on your lawn or garden and exposed to the elements, as new weed seeds can be introduced.

Some of the best natural ways to keep weeds at bay are to add mulch on top of your soil at a 3” depth when you are creating a new flowerbed. One extra step is to add a high quality geotextile cloth between your soil and mulch, and to try to keep on top of weeding, before the weeds have a chance to grow and go to seed. Unfortunately, there is no magic way to eliminate all weeds, but regular maintenance and a good geotextile cloth can help keep the issue well under control.

In addition to our ever popular Greely’s Topdressing Soil, we also sell a variety of mulch and geotextile cloths that can help keep weeds at bay in your garden or flower bed. If you have questions about which type of mulch or geotextile is right for your project, visit our online store to learn more or give our office a call at 613-821-3003.