Weeding your garden can be a daunting task. It is always a struggle to keep the weeds at bay.
You spend hours weeding your garden, and then when you turn around they are back again! It can feel like an impossible task.
But there are ways that you can stop struggling with pesky weeds in your garden for good!
For those of you who are looking for new ways to remove weeds, we have some great methods that will help you easily weed your garden.
In this article, we will cover some of the best practices for keeping weeds from taking over your lawn or flowerbeds.
In a rush then use our table of contents to jump to your area of interest.
Table of Contents
What are garden weeds
There are many different types of garden weeds, and there is no universal way to identify them. Some garden weeds, like clover or dandelions, have distinct features that make identifying them easy. Other common weeds like chickweed can be difficult to differentiate from more desirable plants until they start producing their flowers in the summer months.
To identify which type of garden weed you’re dealing with at any given time you’ll need a good guidebook on native plant life for your geographical region; it’s also important to know what kind of environment your yard inhabits, areas that are near streams will attract certain kinds of weeds that won’t grow as well in dryer areas. Identifying the specific type of garden weed isn’t necessary for weeding purposes, however, because most weeds are killed by garden chemicals. Three common types of weeds killers are:
Annual garden weeds – Annual weeds are plants that live for just one year and they have a life cycle of germination, growth, reproduction, senescence and death. They become established through the spreading of seed and take up to a year to grow. Common varieties include chickweed and lamb’s quarter.
These are the most challenging types of weed to control or prevent as they re-emerge on a yearly basis. They also produce long taproots and seeds making it so daunting and demanding to control them. They include; plantain, oxalis, couch grass, dandelions and purple loosestrife to name but a few.
Biennial garden weeds – Biennial weeds are a type of weed that often grow in the form of bulbs, and typically take two years to fully mature. The main purpose for biennials is reproduction; they rely on seed production to survive over long periods of time
Perennial weeds – Perennial weeds have a life cycle of germination, growth and reproduction year-round. They are made up of the roots, leaves, flowers and seeds that allow them to be self-sustaining in their environment. The most common type in your garden is dandelions; however, mosses can also be classified as perennials because they grow indefinitely without much disturbance or management needed.
Is weeding a garden necessary?
Weeding is necessary to keep your garden healthy. If you do not weed, then weeds will take over and prevent other plants from growing in that space. Weeds also compete with vegetables for the nutrients or water they need, which can stunt their growth!
When should I start weeding my garden?
Weeds will pop up when you first set your garden but it can be very hard to keep them out of the soil later on. Whether you have vegetables, flowers, or both in your garden it is important that weeding be done immediately after a weed pops up and continue throughout the growing season. It’s also crucial to weed during the flowering or fruiting stage because these weeds will leap their seeds into neighbouring spaces if not dealt with.
What is the best way to keep weeds out of your garden?
There are 4 basic methods of dealing with weeds: manual pulling, mulching, smothering and chemical weed control.
Manual garden weeding is the most effective way to eliminate weeds from an established garden but it can be a difficult process for many people. Mulch will help suppress weeds by blocking light and moisture they need while also adding organic material back into the soil. Smothering is another popular option because it prevents weeds from popping up in their space at all (although this method cannot always stop them once they have). Chemical weed control in your garden may sound like a good idea but there are many dangers associated with these products that you should know about before using one of them on your plants or vegetables! Here are a few ideas:
Not commonly thought about but your grand efforts to bring new plants into your garden may be introducing new weeds! Make sure to carefully inspect each new plant for weeds before adding them to your beds. In addition, be mindful of transferring weeds whose seeds may be stuck to your boots. Creating a clean environment will serve you well with future weed control.
Let sleeping weeds lie – Weeds that are left in the garden over winter often die on their own when they have not been sprayed with herbicide. Avoid weeds by not disturbing the soil. Digging disturbs hidden weed seeds, which can result in an abundance of weeds in your garden shortly after you’ve planted them.
Cut off the heads of the weeds that have emerged.
This is the most common way to get rid of weeds, and it has a time tested efficacy with many gardeners. Simply grab your hand weeder, or trowel if you don’t have one handy, and lop off the tops of emerging weeds as they appear for best results. This technique should be done repeatedly throughout the growing season in order to keep weeds from taking over an area of soil that isn’t being used by plants.
One of our recommended strategies mulching which is undoubtedly the most natural way to keep weeds out of your garden, especially if you have a plant that spreads by roots. Mulch is also really helpful for replenishing soil nutrients and moisture reserves. It will not, however, keep weeds from growing in the mulched area if you don’t weed before they have a chance to get established!
There are many different types of mulch that can be used in the garden, but it’s best to use organic material because they don’t have any other chemicals. Many people make their own with leaves from the trees or grass clippings from a lawnmower. If you’re using shredded bark, which is what we recommend, you should cover weeds about two inches deep for permanent control. Direct from your own compost pile is often best.
Crowd Them Out
Crowding weeds means placing plants close together so the weeds have no space to grow. The plants will shade weeds and they will also compete with one another for water, nutrients, and sunlight.
One of the best methods to crowd out weeds is with cover plants like creeping thyme or creeping juniper. These types of plants are low-growing so you don’t have to worry about them taking over your garden either! Ground covers can be planted in large areas but a nice way to mix it up is by placing other flowering perennials under the bushes too. This creates variety which makes it more attractive as well as keeping any weed from gaining an advantage over these flowers.
Essentially, it’s the process of covering dead weeds and other organic material with a tarp or heavy plastic to prevent them from being disturbed by rain. The rotting weeds release heat which kills any seeds that are present in the soil below. Solarization can be used on many surfaces but must be done late enough in the summer so that winter freezes will kill off anything remaining after this period.
Will boiling water kills weeds?
Yes, it sure does. An easy way to kill weeds that are growing in your garden is by using boiling water. Boiling water will not only kill all the weeds but also kills any weed seeds present, preventing them from coming back next year.
Take a large pot of boiling water and pour over the weeds until they are submerged. Allow this to sit for at least an hour before pouring off or hosing out whatever has boiled away. As with polarization, make sure you take care when doing so on surfaces such as cement because it can cause damage if left too long.
Does alcohol kills weeds?
No, but it can help. Alcohol will not kill weeds, but it does offer a lot of other benefits when used in your garden. For example, the alcohol can help to sterilize any tools you might be using on them and is also sometimes used as a herbicide by itself or mixed with water for this purpose.
When weeding around flowers such as roses or geraniums that have been planted in planters near the ground, use a paintbrush dipped into some rubbing alcohol to carefully remove weeds without harming nearby plants.
Soaking cloths in rubbing alcohol then wrapping them tightly around bushes and trees helps keep these areas free from weed growth because their leaves are unable to breathe under there until they die off completely.
Will vinegar kills weeds?
Do not use vinegar to kill weeds because it is only a herbicide if used in very high concentrations and can damage nearby plants. However, you may find that using the alcohol mentioned above mixed with some water as an alternative form of weed killer would work well for your garden needs.
Use organic herbicides
While we have mentioned some good ways to keep weeds out of your garden, sometimes it is necessary to use an organic herbicide as a last resort that will act on those pesky weeds but will not harm your plants
Glyphosate is a good example of a selective herbicide that will kill weeds but not the plants you want to keep. It can be used in many ways, such as by using it on your garden’s soil or around plant roots.
Nonselective weed killers – Weed killer containing dichlorprop is an excellent nonselective weeding tool for those who do not wish to target certain weeds only. This kind of weed killer can usually be found at most hardware stores and supermarkets with other lawn care items too. Dichlorproprp is also considered safer than glyphosate because it does not remain near the root system once sprayed onto foliage like glyphosate does and therefore has less risk of damaging your plants
Garden in raised beds (or containers)
Many people consider raised beds or containers to be too expensive but if you do your own research, you will see that they are actually cheaper and more efficient for many reasons – mainly because weeds cannot grow from an area not planted by the gardener.
A raised bed not only allows you to manage your plants more easily but is ideal when starting your first vegetable garden.
Water smart don't help the weeds grow
When looking for a way to control weeds, we should remember that a lack of water is the best weed killer. When you are watering your garden or lawn and there are weeds in it, just make sure not to water them. To help prevent further growth of weeds, do not wait until the last minute before watering your plants because they will be able to send more roots into the ground while waiting
What tools do I need to control weeds?
There are many tools that can be used to help you control weeds in your garden. The most common weed tool is a hoe, but there are also other options such as weeding knives and handheld cultivators.
Hand Weeder – Easy to use simply rest the curved metal base on the ground and dig around the roots to pull, use the sharp fork tip to dig and pry the roots, stem and leaves. By eliminating the roots you will get rid of the weed once and for all simply by rocking the weed tool away from the weed it extracts the weed, roots and all!
Hand Trowel – A classic garden tool, a trowel can also be used to dig up and remove weeds from garden beds. There are many different styles of trowels with some having wide blades, and others quite narrow. Some are made from steel, others from plastic, and one might have an ergonomic handle to make weeding more comfortable for someone who has arthritis. The precision of this type of too also helps protect young plants from damage.
Garden Hoe – This type of hoe is best used within a few inches of the soil surface, as its sharp edges slice through weeds and break up compacted dirt around your plants.
Garden Knife – Use a garden knife to weed your garden, the long handle and sharp blade make it easy to reach weeds deep in the soil that are inaccessible by other tools
Final thoughts for gardeners
In this article, we describe several techniques and strategies for combating weeds in beds or lawns. But don’t think they’ll work if you neglect your plants in the long term. Make sure to care for them so that they can mature without complication. Weed-free gardens make for a happy gardener!