10 Ways To Make WEEDS – GO AWAY!

Weeds! – Who has time for weeds?

10 Ways To Keep Weeds Out Of Your Garden - Who has time to pull weeds? Not Me! Learn how to keep weeds out!affiliate link

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Who Has Time For Weeds? Not me that’s for sure!
I’m sure there are better things all of us could be doing besides weeding our gardens. They even make special tools just for weeding. Like the Uproot Weed and Root Remover*, the Hula-Ho*, and the CobraHead Weeder*. Or just the plain old Hoe*. But wouldn’t it be better just to eliminate them to begin with? I saw that eye roll and heard that “yeah right” under your breath. And you are right, you can’t eliminate them. But you can cut down on them a lot!

One thing to note. Plants live on light, so covering them with any material that blocks out that light will cause them to die.


What are some ways of getting rid of those pesky weeds?

1) Mulch – straw, hay, wood chips, grass clippings, leaves, and pine needles. Make sure you put down a nice thick layer. This helps keep away weeds, moderates temperatures, holds in moisture, limits evaporation, and reduces splash on plant leaves keeping them cleaner and reducing fungi. As a bonus mulch naturally composts in place putting humus back into the soil. There is a great article about hay mulching here. Jill puts down 8 inches of hay on her garden.


2) Newspapers – Put down a thick layer of newspaper on top of your soil. You will need to add a thin layer of mulch to keep it in place, but newspaper is a great weed barrier. Prepare your beds, put your compost on and your worm casings then put your soaker hose down before you put your newspaper down. That insures your plants get watered, but the weed seeds that land on top, don’t. Then just tear a small hole in the paper where you want to place a plant or seed. By the end of the season it will mostly be decomposed and it too will add humus to your soil.


3) Plastic – Like newspaper, it is a great weed barrier. However at the end of the season you will need to pull it off and throw it away. It does have added benefits of warming your soil if you want to start your garden early or you live in a cool climate.

10 Ways To Keep Weeds Out Of Your Garden - Who has time to pull weeds? Not Me! Learn how to keep weeds out!

4) Cardboard –  Also like newspapers, cardboard is a wonderful barrier. However it is not as easy to tear holes in for planting. And it does not let water through very well. Which is great for the walk ways! It is tough enough to walk on and really keeps weeds from coming through. Even those perennial weeds with the pesky roots that break apart when you try to pull them out. A little mulch on top and you are good to go for the whole season!

Two extra reasons for using cardboard, The activity of garden critters (the good kind) love to live under cardboard. Beneficials such as worms and fungi will love you. Also, the use of cardboard as mulch is permitted by NOP (National Organic Program Standards) Bonus!


5) Plant In Blocks So Plants Shade Out Weeds – If you plant in rows, only a tiny area is shaded. However, if you plant close together in blocks the plants will shade out most of the weeds. This will cut down on your weeds tremendously.

10 Ways To Keep Weeds Out Of Your Garden - Who has time to pull weeds? Not Me! Learn how to keep weeds out!

6) Vinegar – Plants don’t like vinegar. You can put vinegar into a spray bottle and using a dog cone to isolate the weed you wish to get rid of, spray just the weed. The vinegar will kill it clear down to the root, though you may need to reapply to kill the very strong and persistent weed. Make sure it doesn’t get on your prize tomato plant though as it doesn’t discriminate between the plants you like and the plants you don’t.

Note: Agricultural Vinegar (20% acidity) as opposed to household vinegar (5% acidity) works much better and quicker.


7) Fire – A propane torch is a great way to place the fire right where you need it. And Red Dragon* has a nozzle that make it easy to use without all that bending. Just be careful that things are watered well so you don’t set your whole backyard on fire. ooooh I want one!

Red Dragon Weeder

Update: I finally got one and I’m so psyched about it. What a great tool! I learned some great techniques on how to use it efficiently, when I read The Market Gardener .


8) Boiling Water – Yes boiling water. Just poor it on and it cooks the plant. Once again you need to be careful of what is around it.

10 Ways To Keep Weeds Out Of Your Garden - Who has time to pull weeds? Not Me! Learn how to keep weeds out!

9) Eat Them – If you can eat it you don’t mind if it grows! Or feed them to your worms and your ducks. Of course make sure they are not poisonous. But many weeds are great to eat while they are young such as: dandelions, plantain, yellow dock, violet, sorrel, lambs quarters, chickweed & purslane. Make sure you check a reliable source such as this book Edible Wild Plants* to make sure they are safe.


10) Solarize – before your season or after you can place clear plastic on your well watered, prepared beds. The plastic will let sunlight in and the water will steam. This results in weeds dying. Weed seeds dying. And solarizing kills off some fungi and diseases too. It is also one of the most effective ways of controlling nematodes.

And if that doesn’t work and you find a few weeds…..

Pull Them By Hand – yes it is a lot of work but what better way of getting into your garden, getting close to your plants and really seeing what is going on. It’s a great way to keep tabs on pests, diseases, fungi, watering needs and nutritional needs of your plants.  An old Chinese proverb says “The best fertilizer is the shadow of the gardener”. How true, we can’t know what is going on if we are not there. Weeding is a good way to visit our plants regularly.


Check out some great gardening books for more ideas on gardening.

Here’s to a wonderful season in the garden! And Have A Ducky Day!

What is your favorite way to eliminate weeds in your garden? Leave a comment and let us know how some of these ideas have worked for you?








  1. Aleesha Bake | 10th Apr 15

    I have been working hard on my garden and don’t want a bunch of weeds- your guide is super helpful and I can’t wait to try some of these out! I have used vinegar before, but was worried about how to keep the spray off of other plants- LOVE the cone idea! I have linked to your page on my website’s favorite five this week 🙂

    • Mary | 13th Apr 15

      Wonderful post. Thanks for including mine.

  2. rar1013 | 6th Apr 15

    Great tips. We just bought our house last Fall and started our first garden. We had so many things to think about, from the clay soil, to developing the plot, etc. That, we sort of neglected a plan for the weeds! Although, it was in the back of my mind the whole time! I’ll have to try a few of these unconventional tips because…let me tell you, it is impossible to pull weeds from clay soil!

    • Mary | 6th Apr 15

      Especially if your garden is very large it can be a real chore. Sounds like you could use the info in How to build million dollar garden soil https://www.lifeisjustducky.com/garden-soil/ to help with that clay. Happy gardening!

      • rar1013 | 6th Apr 15

        Our plot is 40 X 30 … so, it is rather large. And you’re correct. . . I have heaps of amending and composting in my future. Since we just got the house, we didn’t have any available compost to use this year and we just didn’t have the time or money to truck in the black gold! I hope to have some compost ready for the fall/winter garden. I think it will take a few years for us to get our soil in a good place . . . I had the soil tested through Texas A&M and the results were better than I expected!

        • Mary | 6th Apr 15

          Yeah! At least you have good soil. Here in south Florida, none of our soil is any good by itself. It takes years to get it really good. But then that’s gardening… a little at a time. 🙂 I tried to go to your site and It told me it’s not there. Is it just down for now? I’d love to check it out.

          • Ruth | 6th Apr 15

            Yeah, sorry about that. For some reason it is showing my wordpress.com site (that is non existant) instead of my self hosted sites. I have 2 sites, my main site is isntthatsew.org …. and I just started a gardening blog last week to document my gardening journey….it it’s not fully up and running….but, feel free to check it out, theorganicheir.com

          • Mary | 7th Apr 15

            Looks like a great start. I like the look of your theme. Which are you using?

  3. Skill of the Month: Learn a New, Advanced Gardening Skill - Survival Mom | 3rd Apr 15

    […] 10 Ways to Keep Weeds Out of Your Garden […]

    • Mary | 3rd Apr 15

      Thank you for including this post in your round up post. It looks like a lot of great information to check out!

  4. 35+ tips for Planting a Garden | 26th Mar 15

    […] 20 – 29. Do you have weeds? Here’s 10 ways to keep those weeds OUT! […]

    • Mary | 26th Mar 15

      Wow! Thanks for including my post in yours! That’s awesome!

  5. Kate | 15th Mar 15

    If you are going to use old carpet, make sure it is really, really old carpet. There will be less of a chance of having dangerous chemicals leach into your soil. I have also heard that if you can find one, an old wool carpet is much more garden friendly than a synthetic fabric one. Additionally, if you can periodically pull them up and make sure they don’t “grow” into the dirt it will be good (eventually, soil and other debris will get on the surface and weeds will colonize these spots. If you let the weeds grow on top, the roots can work their way down through the carpet and sort of permanently stick the carpet to the ground, making future digging and tilling a real pain.) We used carpets around a church garden and these were the things we discovered. Happy gardening!

    • Mary | 16th Mar 15

      Thanks for the info. I’ve never used carpeting before, but I’ve heard it is effective. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Antoinette | 22nd Feb 15

    Old carpet! Great for weeds and mulch. Fluffy side down. Lets watet thru but doesn’t stay wet. You can walk on it with your slippers while the worms will process goodies right up to it. Even durimg very dry weather. Worms will have processed thr carpet too. Just put a new lot down on top every yeat. Put it under newly planted hedges. Between raised vege beds. On pathways or barren areas.

    • Mary | 22nd Feb 15

      I’ll bet that is great for walkways. Now I just need to replace my carpets. 🙂

  7. Breezy Schafer | 13th Jan 15

    You make it sound so easy. Lol.

    • Mary | 20th Jan 15

      Well there are lots of options. If one doesn’t work for you, the next one might be better. Nothing is perfect, but these help A LOT!

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