Preventing weeds is a major chore for any gardener, but there are some easy ways to keep your garden looking its best. Pulling weeds from your garden or lawn is tedious and annoying. You can spend hours crouched over in the sun, pulling unwanted weeds from your lawn and yet days later they're back. For some, it may seem like a thankless job with no end in sight. Surely you would rather just stop these green menaces from growing in the first place. While there is no foolproof, 100-percent guaranteed way to completely eradicate weeds, there are steps you can take to prevent and reduce their growth. When it comes to your lawn, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.
Clear your lawn of weeds when they are small. The best way to fight weeds is early and often. By tearing out weeds the moment they sprout, you'll give them less opportunity to grow and reproduce. Weeds are also much easier to pull when they're young. Wet the ground where the weed is growing and it should come right up. By pulling weeds before they have the chance to grow extensive root networks, you'll guard your lawn from damage and prevent your grass and other plants from getting choked out. You need to clear all the weeds from your lawn before you start preventing new ones so that the existing weeds don't just spread their seeds all over your lawn.
Keep your tools clean. Believe it or not, you may be spreading weeds yourself as you garden or mow your lawn. Your gardening tools and lawnmower may be harboring seed from weeds you've pulled up long ago. Don't be counterproductive by working with dirty gardening tools. Always make sure to clean your tools after every use. While cleaning your lawnmower after every use may just not be practical, you should clean it regularly and especially after you have just cleared your lawn of unwanted weeds.
Add or refresh your mulch. Mulch is your first and best line of defense against annoying, unwanted weeds. Add mulch to your lawn early in the growing season before weeds are able to get a foot hold in your yard. You can use gardening tools such as mini-cultivators to add or refresh mulch as soon as you think that the weather is unlikely to freeze. Your mulch will warm up the soil and insulate your plants' roots. Later, make sure to continue adding mulch. Your garden will look nicer and you'll have fewer weeds to contend with.
Use chemical weed killers. Chemical weed killers are not for everyone. They can smell bad and some people believe that they are dangerous. They certainly work effectively on some types of weeds. If you aren't growing plants you plan to eat and you don't mind the smell, commercial chemical weed killers not only kill existing weeds but also kill seeds and prevent new weeds from growing. If you aren't interested in using a poison on your lawn, there are several new products such as NatureZap that use heat energy to kill weeds. This product has an infrared heater that kills both weeds and seeds without killing surrounding plants.