How to Stop Weeds

How to Stop Weeds

The old adage about weeding is that the best time to do it is yesterday, and the second best time is right now...well, it's somewhat true! If you can eliminate a weed promptly, there's less of a chance that it will spread.

A weed is a wild plant growing where it's not wanted. So it's kind of a matter of opinion as to what is a weed; one person may view a wildflower as a weed, while another might not.

When talking about weeds, some names quickly come to mind - nettles, crabgrass, dandelions, thistles, etc. But what makes them such a pain in the backside?

The ability to spread quickly is a trait that weeds all seem to possess (frustratingly!). But the reasons for these are down to a few common features:

  • Generous seed production
  • Rapid germination and establishment
  • Seeds capable of staying dormant for extended spans of time
  • Ability to inhabit areas with a lot of traffic

  • Weeds take up valuable space, light, water and nutrition from the soil that should be used by grass and plants in your garden. Not only do they look horrible and spread rapidly, but they also provide an ideal environment for pests and diseases to thrive. It doesn't take long for one weed to become a multitude of robbers that will sap your plants of their vigor.

    How to Stop Weeds

    Maintaining a weed-free garden requires continual effort and vigilance; tackling weeds when they first appear is much more efficient than having to remove them once they have become established. To prevent weeds from growing, here are some tips to follow:

          1. Be Careful When You're Growing Something New

            When establishing a new garden bed, tilling and hand cultivating are unavoidable. This aerates the soil and includes organic material, however, it also stirs up weed seeds that were previously dormant in the soil. It is recommended to avoid further tilling and cultivating unless absolutely necessary.

          2. Use a Pre-Emergent

            If you want to keep weeds from growing, a chemical solution is an option. Pre-emergent herbicides prevent weed seeds from sprouting and are designed for particular combos of weeds or weed types. To use pre-emergent, spread it around your garden before the weed seeds begin to germinate - in early spring or when you cultivate.Pre-emergent is generally activated by water, so once treating the area, best give it a good soak.

          3. Cover Your Beds in Mulch

            Mulch is a natural and efficient way to deter weeds from growing in your garden. Spread a thick layer, 2 inches deep on the soil but avoid the base of the plants and shrubs. Mulch retains moisture and suppresses small weed growth. , It discourages any newly tilled weed seeds. Non-organic mulches, like plastic and landscaping fabric, last longer than organic ones like pine needles, cedar, and leaves, but they don't help create as healthy a soil environment.

          4. Grow Your Plants Close Together

            Weeds flourish in the open, sun-exposed sections between garden plants. To prevent the growth of weeds, it is wise to plant vegetables, flowers and shrubs closer together, to hog that sunlight!. One route is to arrange the plants in blocks instead of rows; this reduces the amount of unoccupied space where weeds usually appear.

          5. Lookout for Weeds on Plants You Buy

            When you purchase young plants from the nearby garden centre, it's possible for them to carry weed seeds that can spread in the nursery. To stop this, be sure to inspect each new arrival for any signs of sprouts or seeds before transferring them. If any are found, simply pull them out and discard them.

          6. Pull Out Weeds

            As simple as it sounds, pull out those weeds! It may seem like a never-ending task, but tending to your garden on a regular basis will be worth it. For every weed you take out before it produces seeds, you are preventing the growth of hundreds of its future offspring. The best time for weeding is when the soil is damp and the plants are still young. Gently tug weeds at their base (while disturbing as little earth as possible) and discard them far away from the garden. If the roots are difficult to pull, use a sharp knife to cut them off without disrupting the ground or any mulch you have.

          7. Be Selective Where You Water

            By supplying water to the entire garden area, you are giving weeds the ideal environment to propagate. Stop this from occurring by using a soaker hose to put the water exactly where it is needed - the roots of your plants. By doing this, you are narrowing down the areas where weeds could possibly grow.

          8. Grow a Cover

            In the wintertime, many vegetable gardens are not actively growing anything, but some weeds still have the chance to sprout. If you're wondering how to keep these weeds from taking over your yard, you can plant something that will compete with them. Cool season cover crops, such as ryegrass or clover, can form a protective barrier by vying for light, water, and nutrients. You can then till them under come early spring to add organic material and nutrients to the soil.


    Creating a paradise for your outdoor space unfortunately can be the same thing as making a paradise for weeds to grow. But do not worry, stopping weeds from sprouting in your garden can be done if you take some simple steps. Make the effort now to stop weeds from becoming established and you will save yourself a lot of time later!