what is the best way to keep weeds from growing

But they also wreak havoc in a multitude of other ways too. Like harboring pests and disease that lie in wait to attack your plants. And let the weeds go to seed, and the vicious cycle only multiplies.

We use a combination of mulches in our garden space to keep it covered and weed free. It starts with a heavy 4 to 6″ layer of hardwood bark mulch in our walking rows. In our growing rows, we use a 3 to 4″ layer of straw, clippings or shredded leaves in our growing rows.

Over time, tilling breaks down the soil structure. In the process, it eliminates air channels in the soil that actually help provide the air, water and nutrient your plants need to survive and thrive.

5 Tips To Eliminate Weeds Forever.

This eliminates ever having to till the garden. The hardwood mulch keeps the walking rows clear and weed free year round. And the mulch in the growing rows keeps weeds out during the garden season.

When the soil is left exposed, weed seeds can easily find a path to germinate and grow. But by mulching and protecting the soil, you stop that process instantly.

Hoeing and raking your soil creates the same issues as tilling. It plants all of the seeds above ground back into the earth. And those seeds then become the next wave of weeds to pull and deal with.

After a season or two of cover crops, you will be amazed how few weeds actually even appear in your garden.

Yes, it really is possible to eliminate weeds from constantly invading your vegetable garden!

And that process all starts by keeping that rototiller out of your garden!

Listen in to our latest podcast on eliminating weeds!

When you till your garden, all of the weed seeds that have been laying dormant on top become “planted” into the soil below. Thousands and thousand of seeds at a time.

Not only does a weed-free garden lead to a healthier and more productive garden, it is also a more enjoyable garden. And after all, isn’t that what every gardener wants?

But it simply doesn’t have to be that way. Nor does it mean you have to spend endless hours in your garden dealing with them.

Weeds truly are the ultimate enemy of gardeners. They are responsible for choking the life from vegetable and flower gardens. All while stealing life-giving nutrients away from our plants.

#4 Put Away That Hoe and Rake – How To Eliminate Weeds.

They have obvious benefits to helping your soils vitality, but cover crops also help to form a barrier for blowing seeds to enter and lie in wait.

Here is a look at 5 simple tips and secrets that can set your garden on the path to a weed free existence. And create a happier gardener all spring, summer and fall long!

Unfortunately, big shovels and big holes disturb more surface area, and replant more seeds. The same goes for seed planting. We use a pick to create long, narrow channels to plant the seeds.

Instead of tilling and leaving all of that soil bare, it’s far better to cover it with mulch. Mulching your garden with grass clippings, straw or shredded leaves not only helps to stop weeds, but adds vital nutrients to your soil in the process.

This is the biggest time saving and weed free garden tip ever! Plain and simple, a rototiller causes far more harm than good. Both in creating weeds, and destroying your soil over time.

You can also use landscape fabrics to control weeds under decks and in pathways (spread over the excavated soil base before you add gravel or sand). A 3×50-ft. roll of landscape fabric, such as the Typar shown below, costs about $10. The fabric is also available in 36-in. die-cut circles (about $3 each) for installing at the base of trees.

Too little fertilizer can lead to sparse lawn that loses the competition with weeds. Too much helps nurture certain weeds, notably annual bluegrass, Bermuda grass and crabgrass. Strike a balance by following the application rates on the package. And use a fertilizer with a high percentage of controlled-release nitrogen, such as sulfur-coated urea, ureaform or IBDU. These provide a slow, steady nutrient supply.

Weeds can’t survive without moisture. In areas with little or no summer rain, drip irrigation or soaker hoses help prevent weed seeds from sprouting by depriving them of water. These systems deliver water to the root zone of plants at the soil level. The soil surface and area surrounding the plants stays relatively dry. In contrast, overhead sprinkler systems spray water over the entire soil surface and supply both garden plants and weeds with water.

Can I Put Landscape Fabric Over Weeds?

Tips on how to keep weeds out of the garden, add the right amount of mulch over weeds, and 6 mistakes to avoid to keep your garden weed-free.

In the process of trying to eliminate weeds, people often make mistakes that lead to more weeds. Here are the most common:

Any weeds that grow through mulch are easy to pull because the soil remains loose. Photo by Saxon Holt.

(For those of you who already have weeds attacking your yard, read our article on How to Get Rid of Weeds.)

Think it’s an overstatement to call it the war against weeds? Here’s what you’re up against.

Frequent, light watering causes shallow roots and helps annual bluegrass, crabgrass, chickweed, sedges and other weed seeds germinate. If you water too little, the lawn suffers while spotted spurge, Bermuda grass, quackgrass and other weeds adapted to drier soil thrive. Instead, provide your lawn with infrequent, deep soakings. Lawns need about 1 inch of water per week. Set an empty tuna can on the lawn to determine when you have applied 1 inch of water.

The frequency and timing of your fertilizing efforts are also crucial to healthy lawns. Both vary depending on your lawn type and the length of your growing season. Most northern lawns need only one or two applications of fertilizer annually—once in fall and sometimes a second time in spring. Southern grasses might require three feedings—early to mid-spring just after the grass greens up, early summer and again in early fall.

Fertilize Enough, but Not Too Much.

Denman & Co. 401 W. Chapman Ave. Orange, CA 92866 714/639-8106 Ball weeder.

Check the label to determine if it is safe for use around the kinds of landscape plants you have and effective against the weeds normally present.

A single redroot pigweed is able to produce up to 30,000 seeds in a season. And those seeds can remain alive in the soil for 70 years waiting to sprout and overrun your perennial border at any time.

Photo by Saxon Holt.

Left unattended, weeds will quickly fill in unplanted areas and any open ground around plants. Mulch spread over the soil surface blocks the sunlight most annual weeds need to take hold. Weeds that do sprout are easy to pull because soil beneath mulch remains loose and moist. Coarse chipped or shredded bark is a good choice for large areas between trees and shrubs because it decomposes slowly and doesn’t easily blow away. For paths, a thick layer of sawdust provides good weed suppression because it depletes nitrogen in the soil.

Apply Preemergence Herbicides.

Irrigation & Green Industry Network 916C N. Formosa Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046 www.igin.com 323/878-0318.

As with most types of prevention, discouraging weed seeds from sprouting requires some extra time now so you can save a lot of time later.

Spread Landscape fabric and cut it to fit around plants. Photo by Saxon Holt.

Raindrip Inc. 2250 Agate Ct. Simi Valley, CA 93065 www.raindrip.com 877/237-3747 Request the free “Drip Watering Made Easy” guide.

You can get in-depth information on drip irrigation from the Irrigation and Green Industry Network in the “Where to Find It” section.

Mowing too low weakens turf by reducing the ability of a grass leaf to produce enough nutrients. It also lets light hit the soil surface, which helps crabgrass and goosegrass seeds sprout and grow. Check with your local extension service for the recommended range of mowing heights for your grass type. Then mow at the highest level—usually between 2 and 4 inches.

Great post! These interesting tips and suggestions will do good to every gardener. I did a post too on managing a garden. I hope it may be of some help here. You can read it here:

Wow, that’s really useful, thanks to your website for sharing this!

I notice that weeds like Horsetail and Morning Glory are not mentioned in this article, their roots go so very deep (have heard horsetail root being found 36′ down) and any tiny little piece of root from either of those weeds quickly grows into a new plant with a huge root system. I don’t use weed killers, I do the digging them out thing, but I’m so tired of having to do it over and over and over every spring and summer. BTW, I cannot afford to buy and use mulch and in my temperate and usually rather wet location it usually is not needed for its other uses (keeping the soil moist and cool in summer and protected from frost in winter).

When you can’t remove weeds, the next best thing is to chop off their heads. With annual weeds, dead­heading buys you a few weeks of time before the weed “seed rain” begins. Cutting back the tops of perennial weeds, like bindweed, reduces reseeding and forces them to use up food reserves and exhaust their supply of root buds, thus limiting their spread.

I’ve had a heck of a time with this spiky low pinwheel weed for the past three years at our home. I’ve spent most of my summer pulling these things out by the root (or trying to), and my poor fingers have been spiked to the nubs. Found out recently that they’re Canada thistle, and read that the most effective way of getting rid of them is to cut them off at the ground, not pull them up by the roots. If one little bit of root is left behind, it’ll grow back. But if you force the plant to regrow its leaves it’ll eventually use up all of its energy and die.

5. Mind the gaps between plants.

I find fabric just gets in the way. The weeds will root on top of the soil regardless of whether fabric is down or not. I find a good layer of mulch, 3-4 inches thick, weeding by hand, making sure to get the roots, works best. Mulch will feed the plants as it breaks down, keep the bed cool, and retain moisture when it rains.

Under dry conditions, weeds sliced off just below the soil line promptly shrivel up and die, especially if your hoe has a sharp edge. In mulched beds, use an old steak knife to sever weeds from their roots, then patch any open spaces left in the mulch.

What’s that? A garden needs weeds? Weeds are nature’s healing remedy for sites that are in a wounded, plantless state, but weeds and gardeners have different ideas of what makes for a good recovery. Armed with a better understanding of weeds and the strategies outlined here, you can win every future skirmish, giving you more time to enjoy your well-groomed garden.

The old saying “Pull when wet; hoe when dry” is wise advice when facing down weeds. After a drenching rain, stage a rewarding weeding session by equipping yourself with gloves, a sitting pad, and a trug or tarp for collecting the corpses. As you head out the door, slip an old table fork into your back pocket because there’s nothing better for twisting out tendrils of henbit or chickweed. When going after bigger thugs, use a fishtail weeder to pry up taprooted weeds, like dandelion or dock.

Some light passes through chunky mulches, and often you will discover—too late—that the mulch you used was laced with weed seeds. It’s important to replenish the mulch as needed to keep it about 2 inches deep (more than 3 inches deep can deprive soil of oxygen). In any case, you can set weeds way back by covering the soil’s surface with a light-blocking sheet of cardboard, newspaper, or biode­gradable fabric and then spreading prettier mulch over it.

If you have autumn leaf fall in your area and cost is the big concern about mulching, I get good results from shredded leaves. They work well for several purposes: mulching, composting, and using in general to add organic matter to soil.

Every square inch of your garden contains weed seeds, but only those in the top inch or two of soil get enough light to trigger germination. Digging and cultivating brings hidden weed seeds to the surface, so assume weed seeds are there ready to erupt, like ants from an upset anthill, every time you open a patch of ground. Dig only when you need to and immediately salve the disturbed spot with plants or mulch.

If you were to track every hour spent in your garden, you would probably find that you do an inordinate amount of weeding. And while the first few weeks of tearing up these intruders can prove mildly satisfying, the chore soon wears thin. Even more maddening—you are just six simple strategies away from your garden not needing weeds anymore.

Great tips! Another one is to mow your lawn 3” or higher. This will help provide a better environment for the grass and a less desirable environment for weeds, resulting in a greener, thicker lawn. http://grasshopperlawns.com/weed-control/

Get our latest tips, how-to articles, and instructional videos sent to your inbox.

6. Water the plants you want, not the weeds you’ve got.

thanks this was very helpful and had no mention of statues.

Does 32 ounces of vinegar mixed with 1/4 ounce of soap sound like an accurate mix.

Mulch benefits plants by keeping the soil cool and moist and depriving weeds of light. Organic mulches, in particular, can actually host crickets and carabid beetles, which seek out and devour thousands of weed seeds.

Heat treating weedy compost destroys many of the microscopic life-forms that give compost its punch, so it’s a good idea to reprocess cooked compost for two to three weeks before using it in the garden. Place it in a plastic storage bin with a handful of earthworms borrowed from your garden and it will soon be laced with humic acids and other plant-pleasing compounds.

Beyond these strategies, enriching your soil with organic matter every chance you get can move your garden along down the weed-free path. Soil scientists aren’t sure how it works, but fewer weed seeds germinate in soil that contains fresh infusions of good compost or organic matter. One theory makes elegantly simple sense: When soil is healthy and well fed, weed seeds sense that they are out of a job and are less likely to appear.

I’m hoping to get my garden under control. I was thinking about laying down some weed killer, then use some landscaping fabric. Would some mulch installation be good on top of the fabric?

I posted a Fantastic Content About growing vegetables in your small greenhouse http://www.7growers.com/small-greenhouse/

4. Lop off their heads.

In lawns, minimize soil disturbance by using a sharp knife with a narrow blade to slice through the roots of dandelions and other lawn weeds to sever their feed source rather than digging them out. Keep in mind that weed seeds can remain dormant for a long, long time.

Put drought on your side by depriving weeds of water. Placing drip or soaker hoses beneath mulch efficiently irrigates plants while leaving nearby weeds thirsty. In most climates, depriving weeds of water reduces weed-seed germination by 50 to 70 percent. Watch out, though, for the appearance of deeply rooted perennial weeds, such as bindweed and nutsedge, in areas that are kept moist. They can take off in a flash when given the benefits of drip irrigation.

You will need pruning loppers to take down towers of ragweed or poke, or you can step up to a string trimmer equipped with a blade attachment to cut prickly thistles or brambles down to nubs. No matter which method you choose, chopping down weeds before they go to seed will help keep them from spreading.

Now you’re cooking. Easier than solarizing, plug in an old Crock-Pot outdoors, turn it to its lowest setting, and warm batches of compost while you sleep (three hours at 160°F kills most weed seeds).

Few experiences compare to the joy of watching weeds shrivel in the sun after a morning weeding session, but then what should you do with them? Their best resting place, of course, is a compost pile or bin, which is the end of the story if the weeds going in are free of seeds. In reality, however, a good half of the weeds you pull probably hold seeds. Separating the seedies from other weedies is impractical, so weed seeds in compost are customarily killed by raising the temperature in the heap.

Thank you for the tips. The weeds in my garden seem to grow in the blink of an eye. I spend a lot of time weeding my garden, only to see weeds popping up a week later. I might need to call a weed control service.

There is a new solution – the Garden HotZot kills weeds with jets of hot water. It’s organic, safe, fast and easy – http://www.hotzot.biz.

Most spacing recommendations, however, are based on the assumption that adjoining plants will barely touch when they reach mature size, so stick with the guidelines when working with plants that are prone to foliar diseases, such as bee balms ( Monarda didyma and cvs., USDA Hardiness Zones 4–9) and phloxes ( Phlox paniculata and cvs., Zones 4–8).