Eliminating the competition in your garden
The best weed control is prevention: plant dense ground covers under shrubs, use intensive or wide-row methods in the vegetable garden, mulch freely.
Annual weeds, such as chickweed and lamb’s-quarters, grow fast and produce many seeds, but are shallow rooted. Pull them by hand, cut off their roots with a scuffle hoe, or turn them under with a rototiller before they go to seed. Perennials, such as milkweed and thistle, come back year after year.
Dig them up roots and all,or keep the stems cut back to the ground for at least two seasons. Use an herbicide only as a last resort, following the manufacturer’s directions to the letter. Make spot applications of broadleaf herbicides in spring and fall. Use preemergence herbicides, such as trifluralin and diphenamid, in flower gardens and around established ornamentals to kill weed seeds before they germinate. Never use an herbicide near food plants.