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How to Keep Weeds Out Of The Garden

April 12, 2021
Written by Aaron

Pulling weeds isn’t exactly the most thrilling part of gardening, so knowing how to keep weeds out of the garden is a valuable skill. Now, weeds can sprout up any time during the growing season, so it’s important to stay on top of weeding and use a combined approach to tackle the problem. Proper prevention and early removal will save you so much effort and time spent yanking out those stubborn weeds!

Chemical herbicides can be quite harsh on your lawn and soil, and they can be harmful for local wildlife. This has resulted in many gardeners wanting to learn how to keep weeds out of the garden naturally. We’ve put together a list of natural methods of weed prevention and removal, for a more beautiful and healthy garden. 

Start the Season With Pre-Emergent Herbicide

A pre-emergent herbicide made from corn gluten will help stop weed seeds from sprouting in the first place. Using it at the beginning of the season will help prevent that first crop of weeds from appearing, and follow-up applications will prevent late-season weeds. Keep in mind, this formula will prevent all seeds from germinating, so you won’t want to use it if you’re reseeding your lawn or direct seeding your plants.

adding mulch to garden

Apply Mulch

Mulch has so many benefits for your garden soil, but it’s also an amazing way to keep weeds out of the garden. Because it blocks the soil surface from the sun, weed seeds won’t germinate because they won’t receive enough light. Use a natural mulch, such as shredded bark, that’s free of chemical dyes, to help maintain great soil health.

 

Use Groundcovers, Filler Plants, and Cover Crops

If there’s no available real estate for weeds to take hold, you’ll have less weeds, plain and simple! Fill up gaps in between your plants with filler plants that grow low but spread out. Fragrant culinary herbs are a popular option, and they can help keep pests out of the garden as well. Using cover crops in the winter will help to keep out weeds as well, while also feeding your soil so it’s healthy and ready for planting in spring.

woman pulling weeds from garden

Pull Weeds After Heavy Rain, Use The Hoe On Dry Days

Weeds can put up quite a fight if they’ve got well developed roots, so you can make it easier for yourself by working on them in the correct conditions. Weeds are much easier to manually pull from the soil after a heavy rain, but pulling up large weeds with a hoe is easier when the soil is dry and crumbly. 

 

Off With Their Heads

One of the most important ways to keep weeds out of the garden long-term is by reducing the risk of existing weeds reseeding. The tops of weeds are typically where their seed heads will develop, so if you don’t have time to immediately pull all the weeds from your yard, you can cut off the heads and dispose of them. It’s still a good idea to pull the roots out later, but cutting the heads offers a quick solution for preventing spread. 

 

Keep Weeds Out Of The Compost Bin

If weed seeds end up in your compost pile, if you use that compost later, you’re going to end up reintroducing a whole new crop of weeds into the garden. If you’re absolutely certain your weeds are free of seeds, they can go in the compost bin, but it’s better to err on the side of caution and throw them all out in the garbage. Dried leaves, grass clippings, and other plant parts that are free of disease are fine to go in the bin. 

spraying garden weeds with vinegar

Use Spot Killers Sparingly

While there are many DIY weed killers with varying rates of success, they can often damage your soil or surrounding plants, so they should only be used when absolutely necessary. Vinegar solutions work well without doing as much soil damage as salt-based solutions. To prevent the spray from hitting your other plants, cut the bottom off of a 2L pop bottle, place it over the weed you want to kill, insert the spray nozzle into the top of the bottle, and spray away.   

 

Torch ‘Em

A handheld torch made for burning up weeds can help kill the especially aggressive ones. Be very careful when using it—you don’t want to end up accidentally burning your other plants or injuring yourself. Weed torches typically have an adjustable flame size and a well directed flame for easily targeting the correct weeds. Use it on a day that isn’t windy to prevent accidents. 

If you’re in need of any supplies or products to keep weeds out of the garden naturally, visit Eising and we’ll help get you all set up! We also have chemical formulas available if needed—just be sure to use them safely and responsibly to minimize risk to yourself or the environment. If you have any questions on how to keep weeds out of the garden, feel free to ask one of our experts!

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