How to get rid of weeds forever

Argh! Weeds. You put in a lot of effort each year to create the most stunning flower garden on your street only to find that parts of it have been invaded by weeds. You pull them, you spray them, you do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do to your garden to get rid of them, and still, the odd weed finds a way to poke its head out from the cover of plants.

It’s enough to make the average person consider covering their flower beds in a two-inch-thick layer of pavement.

Ah, but there are ways to keep weeds out of your garden. In this article, we will review some of the best methods used by gardeners just like you that keep those pesky weeds at bay.

Learn A Lesson From Your Front Lawn

When considering how to get rid of weeds forever, we can use the principles that tend to keep our front lawn looking lush, green, healthy, and weed-free. When was the last time you laid out a blanket and took a close look at your lawn? If you do this, you will discover that the blades of grass are all growing close together.

They essentially crowd out anything else that tries to take up space in your yard. Sure, you may have some weeds here and there in your lawn, but there won’t be many and they won’t be there for long. That is because your lawn is filling up all available space where there is enough dirt for roots to take hold.

For your flower garden, you have to take the same approach. Don’t plant flowers one or two inches apart. All you are doing is leaving a one or two-inch space where weeds can grow. Instead, try to tightly pack your flowers next to each other in much the same fashion as the blades of grass in your front yard.

The less room you leave for weed growth, the fewer weeds you will find popping up in your flower beds. Oh, and to get an edge on this, ensure that the soil you use to plant your flowers is weed-free, to begin with.

Prep Your Flower Beds Before You Do Anything

So, how to get rid of weeds forever? All you have to do is prepare the flower beds by doing these three things:

1. Weeding

weeding - how to get rid of weeds forever

Before you plant anything, weed the flower bed and remove as many weeds as you possibly can.

2. Weed Killer

weed killer - how to get rid of weeds forever

Lay down a pre-emergent weed killer throughout your flower beds.

3. Add Plastic

add plastic - how to get rid of weeds forever

Line your flower beds with a plastic border. Push the plastic into the ground at least three inches to keep weed runners from traveling

Use Old Newspapers

Here’s an old trick that has tremendous success and won’t cost you much in supplies. Gather several issues of old newspapers. Lay these papers, ten stacks thick, in the bottom of your flower beds. The newspapers will prevent light from getting down to the bottom of the flower bed. Cover the newspapers with mulch and you are done.

Old newspapers are effective in flower beds for more than the fact that it helps you to recycle paper. They also condition the soil by making it soft and loose for ease of planting next year. Newspapers will assist in the growth of earthworms, which help your flower garden, and old newspapers are far less costly than landscaping fabric.

Don’t Be Stingy With The Mulch

dont be stingy with the mulch

When you think about how to get rid of weeds forever, mulch should come to mind. That is because mulch helps your garden soil to hold moisture as well as smother weeds. As we have explained above, any space where weeds can grow they will find it. Mulch helps you to cover those spaces and to be effective, you have to use a lot of mulch. A little sprinkling will not do the job. A layer of up to four inches in depth is what you should be aiming for.

A Thing About Mulch

Remember, you are looking for how to get rid of weeds permanently. The thing about mulch is that although it is a very effective way to cover spaces between plants, preventing sunlight from passing through and gently caressing the untouched soil, mulch does tend to look a bit old and messy after a while. Watering your flower beds and constant UV rays will do this. So, it is natural to want to go out and give your mulch a bit of a sprucing up.

This is not as good an idea as it sounds

this is not as good an idea as it sounds

Raking mulch, to give it a freshening only serves one purpose. It replants the weed seeds that have been lying dormant on the surface. So, whatever you do, do not turn your mulch. The best thing to do to give your mulch a fresh look is to add a thin layer of new mulch on top of what is already sitting on your flower beds.

Heating Soil Is Also A Good Weed Killing Trick

Still, wondering how to get rid of weeds forever? You could let the sun help you out with an old-school method of preparing an area for planting. All you do is till the soil in the bed you intend to plant. Rake it smooth and cover it. The cover should be clear, heavy-gauge plastic. Be sure to weigh down the edges of the plastic so that it doesn’t flip up and out of position in a breeze. Keep the area around the plastic moist and the sun will cook whatever is under the plastic. Leave it in place for about eight weeks so that the heat increases enough to kill the weed seeds.

Hand Weeding

hand weeding

Speaking of old-school, weeding by hand is still your best bet simply because you will be able to remove the entire weed, root, and all. The key here is to do the hand weeding before the weeds have a chance to flower and spread their seeds. This also means that if you start hand weeding, you will have to commit to doing it regularly after the first weeding.

If you do it right, just scratching the soil surface may be all you will need to do at times to remove the tiny weed seedlings before they grow a deep root system. The upside here is that by continually weeding throughout a couple of growing seasons, you should not see any more weeds popping up.

Hand Weeding Tip

Here’s something that will help you when you are figuring out how to get rid of weeds between block paving or anywhere else they tend to appear. Sterilize your weeding tools after you have completed the weeding. You can do this with rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes. By doing this, you reduce the risk of passing weed seeds, or weed diseases, from one part of your yard to another.

How To Get Rid Of Weeds Forever - The Last Resort

the last resort

Okay, there is the possibility that you have tried everything we have suggested here, and still, you have evidence of weed activity. Fear not, as there is a final backup plan. It is the use of chemical warfare. That’s right, sometimes you have to pull out the big guns to show those weeds who the boss really is. There is a disclaimer here.

Be sure to read the instructions on any of the chemical weed killers you decide to use as some are so potent that not only will they destroy the weeds you have been trying to kill, but they may even kill off much of the flowering plants you were trying to save.

Oh, and some weed killers may be dangerous to birds and small animals, so you have to put some serious thought into whether or not it is worth dialing up your weed-killing activity to a level that could wipe out all living creatures. Your best bet is to start at the low end of the scale with products that contain vinegar or any other acid-based liquid.

Other ingredients that are on the safer side of the weed-killing scale include corn gluten or herbicide soaps. And never be afraid to ask someone in the garden center of the hardware store you shop at for these things for some advice. They may know of a product that does the trick and is much safer to use.

In Conclusion

When you know how to get rid of weeds forever, you will be able to enjoy planting your favorite flowering plants knowing that they will not get choked out by weeds. It may take a lot of work and experimentation to get there, but it will be worth the effort. Weeds are not only bad for your yard and garden, but they are annoying. And they spread like, well, weeds. Once they take hold of a property, they are like a virus that won’t go away. That is unless you have the secrets of how to get rid of weeds permanently.

Hi I'm Tom (aka thatshedguy) and as the name implies I'm a fan of outdoor storage sheds and pretty much anything else related to tools and gardening. I have a wood sculpting hobby that keeps me busy for ages out in my own outdoor shed and I absolutely love having a nice clean functional space to work in. That's how I got started blogging about outdoor sheds as I reckon a lot people are missing out on a bit of freedom right in their backyard or the opportunity to store valuables securely.

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