10 Easy Ways to Beat Weeds

It’s time to outsmart the weeds.


A single weed can produce as many as 250,000 seeds. Though some seeds are viable for only a year, others can lie dormant for decades, just waiting for their chance to grow. When they’re buried several inches deep, the lack of light keeps them from germinating. But bring weeds to the surface, and they’ll germinate right along with your flower and vegetable seeds.

Even if you’re diligent at hoeing and pulling weeds, more seeds arrive—by air, by water runoff, and in bird droppings. You may accidentally introduce weeds by bringing seeds in on your shoes, clothing, or equipment or in the soil surrounding the roots of container-grown stock.

If you had more weeds then seedlings last year or are already feeling defeated by the number of weeds choking out your favorite plants, don’t worry! These surefire tips will help you keep down weed populations during the growing season:

Know your enemy.
Before you can determine your best defense strategy against weeds, you need to know what you’re up against. Some weeds, such as miner’s lettuce, chickweed, purslane, and dozens of grasses, are shallow-rooted annuals. Others, such as dock, comfrey, thistles, and certain runner grasses, are deep-rooted perennials. The two types require different control methods. Arm yourself with a good field guide, then identify and inventory your weeds. After that, you can ...

Photo: (cc) Dawn Endico/Flickr