Healthy Soil Management

The Goleta Water District uses no chemicals or pesticides on our demonstration gardens due to the close proximity to the San Marcos Groundwater Well.  Instead, manual weeding and mulching is used to control weeds, and in the spring we allow the weeds to sprout temporarily in our garden as part of our healthy soil management practices.

  • Weeds can help protect and condition soil by breaking up
    the ground so air and rain can penetrate.
  • Some weeds can act as cover crops, and fertilize the soil.
    For example, clover is a nitrogen fixer.
  • Weeds can benefit beneficial insects and pollinators.
  • Weeds enrich the organic matter in soil, and can help
    improve soil microbe health.

Weeds are typically short lived.  They sprout and flower for short periods and then die. During warmer summer months make sure to remove weeds so they don’t compete for water with other landscaping.

Be sure to remove crabgrass (Digitaria).  These species often become problem weeds in lawns and gardens, growing especially well in areas that are watered lightly, underfertilized, and poorly drained. They are annual plants, and one plant is capable of producing 150,000 seeds per season. The seeds germinate in the late spring and early summer.

Close-up of a crab grass specimen