Tips and Tricks for Weed Control

Weeds happen! It’s a fact of life and home ownership, and yet there’s little we can do to stop weeds from appearing in our gardens. Some seeds blow in from afar, some are deposited by birds or other critters, some are unearthed when we rake or cultivate. It may seem like fighting weeds is an endless battle.

Here are a few tips that will make it all feel less helpless:

  1. Mulch- Using 2-3 inches of mulch to block the light from any weed seeds that may lurk in your soil is a good idea. Keep in mind that any raking or digging you do will unearth waiting weed seeds.
  2. Hand weeding- Hand weeding isn’t that bad, set a timer for 15 minutes or pop in your ear buds and listen to your favorite podcast. You’ll be surprised how much you get done in a short amount of time
  3. Scuffle hoe or stirrup hoe- This stand up tool gets pushed and pulled along the surface of the soil that scrapes and cuts the weeds out of your beds. This is best for smaller weeds without deep taproots.
  4. Fiskars 4-Claw Weeder- This is an excellent stand-up tool for removing dandelions and other weeds with a long taproot. Just place the claws over the weed, press your foot down on the platform, lean back and the weed and its roots will be in the claws. You can eject the weeds into your “pulled pile” using a slider, no bending or touching the claws necessary.
  5. Deadheading - If you can’t pull all the weeds and their roots (and sometimes you just can’t), try to pull off all the flowers or seed heads so that they don’t spread anymore via seed, making the job just that much harder. Of course, you can always have seeds that come in from neighboring spaces, but this a great way to control what you can.
  6. Mowing - Set the deck on your mower at the highest level so that the grass shades out any possible weed seeds.

Pre Emergent - Chemical pre emergents get shaken on top of the soil or mulch’s surface and controls and prevents emerging weed seedlings.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the label.