Hands in healthy soil

Start with Healthy Soil

The soil acts as the immune system of your plants. If plants are getting what they need from nutrient-dense, well-aerated soil, they will be much more resistant to disease, and fewer pests will prey on them. A generous layer of compost spread annually has the added benefit of helping to reduce weeds.

Plants on hay as a protective layer

Add a Protective Layer

Deter weed growth with a protective layer of alfalfa hay or straw around your plants; the layer can starve potential weeds of sun and prevent their growth. An added benefit is that this layer helps retain moisture and provides nutrients to the soil as it decays.

Pulling weeds by hand

Weed By Hand

Far and away the most effective method for keeping out weeds is to pull them up at the root by hand or hoe. If snapped off above the root, they will grow back quickly. The key is consistency–pull the weeds out when they’re still young and never let them get established. If you stay on top of it, weeding won’t take more than 30 minutes a week in most gardens. Never let the weeds go to seed or produce seed.