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Garden Weeding Methods

Updated: May 18

I previously wrote about weeding a lawn using novel methods. Fortunately, weeding a garden is much easier. The best method to use will depend on a number of factors including weed density and clearance between obstructions including wanted plants.

For large weeds that are not overly dense or where there are narrow clearances between obstructions, hand pulling is often best. Using a tool like a trowel, weeding tool or even a mortar trowel not only makes the weeds easier to remove, it prevents parts of the weed from being left behind and growing back. This also makes it easy to wear gloves to protect your hands.

If mulch is used in the garden, consider using a garden fork to avoid mixing the mulch into the soil and making the mulch ineffective for weed suppression.

Hand weeding in raised garden bed
Hand weeding in action

For small weeds that are dense and where there is an absence of mulch, consider a plow or rake. They can be very tedious to pull out, especially wintergrass shoots!

Raked raised garden bed
Raking or plowing can deal with those pesky tiny weeds before they get bigger

Close up of weeds surviving raking
Raking is fast but not 100% effective - may need to hand weed later

And finally, the sledgehammer approach for killing weeds - covering. Make sure to use a material like a mat or wood that allows some soil aeration, especially if there are wanted plants growing in the area. This is effective in the wet season - in the right conditions mould will grow underneath and kill both the weeds and most of the seeds. Because of the mould, avoid bases of wanted plants and hand weed there instead.

The cover will need to be left there for about a month. For any small areas missed by the cover, simply hand weed.

Cover weeds with timber to kill them
Nuking those weeds with a cover

You can even use branch prunings.

Using prunings to smother weeds
Rough, but it works

Now go and get those weeds before they go to seed! 😉

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