Farmers Almanac
The Farmers Almanac
Order your copy today!

7 No-Fail Ways To Win The War on Weeds!

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Subscribe by Email Print This Post
7 No-Fail Ways To Win The War on Weeds!

Year after year, we fight the same fight. No sooner than we pull all the weeds, new ones sprout right behind them. If you’re tired of the frustrating battle against the weeds popping up in your gardens, here are a few all-natural strategies to keep your gardens weed-free all year long.

7 No-Fail Ways To Win The War on Weeds

1. Corn Gluten Meal

This is one time you may not want to go gluten free! Many university studies show corn gluten meal to be an effective pre-emergent herbicide (a pre-emergent prevents seed germination). It is an all-natural alternative to synthetic pre-emergents and it has no known ill effects for human health or the environment. Since corn gluten stops seeds from sprouting, make sure that you don’t use it in any spot where you’d like to plant seeds within the next year or two.

Where to buy: available at any garden center or online.

2. Plastic and Fabric Weed Barriers

Weed barriers are a no-fuss way to keep weeds out of the garden for years to come. You can use weed barriers in vegetable gardens, but because you might change your plantings around from year to year, this means that you may have to replace the weed barrier yearly.

Where weed barrier really stands out is in permanent perennial beds. Lay the sheeting down, making sure to cut holes wherever you plan to place landscape perennials and then cover the fabric with mulch, grass clippings, fall leaves or something else to hide the plastic or fabric sheets.

Where to buy: At any home improvement store, garden center, or hardware store.

3. Newspaper and Cardboard

Many gardeners would rather keep plastics out of their gardens. If this sounds like you, then try recycling newspapers and cardboard as weed barrier instead. The advantage to these two materials is that they’re readily compostable, which means that you can easily till them into your vegetable gardens and reapply each year.

If you decide to use newspaper, make sure to avoid toxins by using non-glossy pages and black and white ink. Today, the vast majority of newspapers use organic soy-based black ink, which is safe for your gardens.

4. Mulch

Tree bark mulch wood chips are old standbys for weed management, and they can be used on their own or as a covering for your weed barrier of choice. However, store-bought bark and wood mulch isn’t your only option. Grass clippings and straw can be used as mulch, so long as it is relatively free of weed seeds. You can also use whole or shredded tree leaves as mulch.

A couple of particularly stubborn weeds may still grow through your mulch of choice, but far fewer than will grow on bare soil. In addition, no matter which type of mulch you use, you’ll be adding nutrients to your garden beds and you’ll increase the soil’s ability to retain water.

5. Go No Till

When you till the soil, you’re essentially planting weed seeds that were once laying on the surface of the bed. In addition, you’re exposing any previously buried weed seeds to that ray of sunlight they need to sprout. As such, no-till gardening is a great way to reduce weeds in your garden — and save you the countless hours you spend tilling each spring!

No-till gardening works especially well when you allow a layer of organic material to cover the surface of your beds. This layer can be mulch or it can be last year’s foliage. Either way, if you adopt this gardening method, you’ll wind up with fewer and fewer weeds each year.


6. Pack Plantings Tightly

One of the best ways to keep weeds out of your gardens is to not give them any room to grow. We all love to see some space between our plantings, but if you can pack your plants instead — or use groundcovers to choke weeds — then you’ll never need to worry about weeding again. As a general rule, this tactic works best in landscape plantings since many vegetable plants need quite a bit of space to mature.

7. Off with Their Heads!

It happens to the best of us — life gets in the way and before you know it, weeds have grown up and long since bolted. As the old saying goes, “One year’s seeds, seven year’s weeds.” Therefore, before you start ripping them out of the garden, however, gently clip off the seed heads so that you don’t scatter the seeds in your garden as you pull the weeds.

There are many weed-busting strategies, but these are some of the most effective. Give them a try, and you’ll find yourself spending a lot less time weeding and a lot more time enjoying your gardens.

Do you have an all-natural weed strategy you want to share? Tell us in the comments below!


1 Garden Whisperer { 04.16.19 at 3:53 am }

Good Day,

Best method for weed [crabgrass, nut grass, Johnson grass, Rye grass, Texas blueweed, thistle, dandelion (although has medicinal purposes), etc.] erradication is to pull your problematic weeds and cover the area cleared, otherwise weeds will assuredly reappear. Note: there are beneficial weeds and even “weed teas” https://www.farmersalmanac.com/8-homemade-garden-fertilizers-24258 although I wouldn’t use a weed sprayed with a chemical.

It’s unfortunate that chemical sprays can make areas unusable (3+ years) until the ground has been saturated enough with rainfall in an effort to deplete chemicals.

I’ve purchased fruits or vegetables (cooked or not) where I’m able to taste the chemicals the produce was sprayed with. (ie. pineapple, carrots, lettuce, watermelon, cantelope, honeydew to name a few).

There are a good number of products available to aid consumers in the erradication of weeds; or perhaps hire a youth group attempting to fund their summer trip.

Have an Excellent & Blessed Day!!
Matthew 19:26

2 Joan { 04.14.19 at 4:31 pm }

I use RM43, it’s expensive, and be careful to read the directions, it can be diluted down to use against weeds, I do this when most of my garden is dormant. Choose a time when rain is not eminent, in very late fall in Arkansas. This stuff will kill fence rows for a year, thus the need to dilute for smaller spaces.but if applied correctly, weeds will not appear in spring, nor will they come back for a year, I do this yearly, and the use of some cardboard. DO NOT APPLY WITHIN 2 feet of your flowers and for Christ sake use sparingly. This works fantastic for me, have not lost a plant so far, and no grassing in spring, woo hoo!

3 Sue Werner { 11.16.16 at 9:16 am }

I spray with white vinegar. It even kills english ivy.

4 Maggie { 05.18.16 at 11:17 am }

How to kill and get rid of nut grass in a garden area

5 gerald davis { 05.02.16 at 7:27 pm }

how do kill crabgrass

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

Reading Farmers' Almanac on Tablet with Doggie

Don't Miss A Thing!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter and Get a FREE Download!