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Considering how hard they are to remove, surely the best way to treat weeds is to prevent them from appearing in the first place? I mean who really has the time or will to go and pull them all out anyway?
I sure don’t and I imagine you don’t either.
So to relieve you of those duties I’ve laid out a few weed prevention methods for you to use just below.
Take Away All The Grass
Now I don’t mean tear up your entire lawn but when you are making a new garden bed make sure to remove all the existing grass, weeds and roots from the soil.
If you plan on tilling the soil, which is probably a good idea as you can remove other things that could sprout weed growth, then make sure you don’t use high-powered tillers. If they are left underground, weeds could stay dormant for years so the less you disturb them and your soil, the more likely they come of anything.
As mulch degrades it improves the soils structure and passes on nutrients to it, both of which help combat the growth of weeds. Just make sure you use organic mulch, synthetic does nothing to improve the quality of or help rebuild the soil, so avoid using it.
When adding mulch to an area in your garden, follow this process:
- Wet layers of newspaper to ensure they don’t blow away when you lie then across your garden bed
- Pull out all grass, roots and weeds found with the garden bed
- Spread about 10 layers of your newspaper across the entire area
- Cover the newspaper with about 4 inches of mulch
The aim of this process is to kill the remaining grass and weeds by blocking out it access to any air and light.
Applying a Herbicide
Pre-emergent herbicides are fantastic as they prevent the weeds from germinating without killing any of your plants or grass. The only thing is that it’s difficult to judge when to apply them. Obviously this needs to be applied before the seeds germinate which is very difficult to do because it all happens underground.
There are a few different ways to figure this but from what I’ve read the best way is advanced planning.
This is keeping a record of the date when you first notice weeds in your garden and then subtracting three weeks to arrive at a certain date. This date is when you will apply the pre-emergent herbicide the next spring.
I know this won’t do you any real good right now but it’ll save you a lot of time and hassle over the following years.
Keep Your Lawn in Shape
As you may have seen me saying in other posts, or maybe you already know this, but the absolute best way to prevent weeds from popping up in your lawn is to keep it in the healthiest and best condition possible. This means mowing it regularly, keeping it properly watered, applying fertiliser (organic) when needed, aerating to give the roots access to air and water, and scarifying to remove any layers of thatch.
A thick, dense and healthy lawn is a weeds worst enemy and carrying out these methods consistently throughout is the only way to get one yourself.
Best of luck fighting off the weeds in your garden, I just hope these tips give you less work to do than usual and that your workload gets less and less each year.
If you found this post interesting then maybe you’d like to see some of my other content, like my robomower reviews? If so then head over to my Robot Lawn Mower Review Page, I’ve reviewed various models all designed for different purposes so if you’re in the market there won’t be a better place to go than here!
4 thoughts on “How to Prevent Weeds Appearing in Your Garden”
Very good article. I have to admit that I learnt a fair bit of new information from it.
That said, you did make me smile when you wrote, “I just hope these tips give you less work to do than usual.” I know that having a nice lawn is a long term game, but the initial effort seems pretty daunting!
I think maybe these tips are for when you have a large lawn. Unfortunately, all my lawns have been small and barely worth the effort. But maybe I’ll follow SOME of your tips, because I would like to get rid of the weeds, even if they’re just spoiling a small area.
Yeah I see your point Al and I think I would feel the same way but I’m sure some of my tips will prove useful nonetheless.
Very interesting! I never thought about all the steps. We use to live in a house where the lawn… well, it wasn’t the best looking. We didn’t pay attention to weeds, or fertilizer. I have no clue there was a syntactic mulch, good to know! Is any specific brand you will recommend for mulch or fertilizer?
To be honest Javier my knowledge of the different fertilisers and their quality isn’t the best, and this is probably different for everyone and the area they live. What I would do is go into your local garden shop and ask the employees for their advice, I’m sure they’ll be more than able to help you out.