Weed Free BedsSteve McKenzie, a staff gardener at Perry Wellness Center, is an expert on growing bedding plants. One issue for which he prepares is weeds, which can threaten to outstrip all else in their growth. But he sees the use of poisons and pesticides as a shortcut with potential health risks.

“It is important to us that we use no chemical spraying,” Steve says. “We do not want to endanger any peer or staff member at Perry Wellness Center.”

He relies instead upon a simple alternative, covering each planting bed with tar paper he found in the warehouse on campus. After laying the paper, he then cuts an opening of the appropriate size for each bedding plant. He also cuts small squares to admit watering but avoid weed growth.

“This simple protection will help avoid any weeds,” Steve explains.

After one recent spring planting, red salvia, multi-colored verbena, carnations, and other plants fill a plant box prepared by Steve McKenzie, above.

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