Aren’t weeds the eternal gardening problem? We create a new bed, plant new grass or spend hours pulling up weeds only to find new ones taking root a week later.

Don’t feel discouraged if this happens to you. As a gardener you’ll always have to contend with unwanted vegetation of all kinds in your landscape.

Before you wage war on the weeds, stock your arsenal with the following:

  • Weed barriers — Cardboard, newspaper and permeable cloth are your best defense when creating a new bed. This method usually buys you some time, perhaps years, before weeds inevitably break through.
  • Organic solutions — Vinegar and orange oil work well to destroy weed foliage. Many synthetic chemicals are effective as well but must be handled with extreme caution.
  • Mulch — Always a top choice for slowing the rate of weed growth, mulch not only reduces soil moisture loss but also acts as a buffer preventing new weed seeds from landing in and germinating in the soil. It works best when applied two to three inches thick.

If you’re creating a new raised bed, be sure to purchase good quality, weed-free soil. When buying in bulk, ask about pasteurized soil choices. These will usually be weed-free and have been processed in such a way that existing weed seeds are destroyed.

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