The least harmful to our environment is to hand pull them or use a flamer. The next least harmful way is to use an benign substance such as vinegar or a strong citric acid (the hotter ambient temperature the more effective they are) Or you can use Round up if you are not going over turf grass. If you are talking about over your lawn you can use a 2-4D formulation (such as Trimec).
Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas. I get they need pulled, but is there a way to lessen their rerturn?
Whenever you pull a weed, Dee, you risk disturbing the soil and allowing more weed seeds to germinate.
If your intent is NOT to do anything else but keep the weeds from coming back up, you MUST do a combination of three things:
1) On growing weeds, use For Season's suggestion about RoundUp or similar weedkiller understanding that it WILL kill anything it touches. Wait at least a morning or an afternoon to water. The good thing is that in
about a week or two, something can be replanted there if desired.
2) Be diligent in continuing to do this over time. You will notice that you'll be seeing less and less of it.
3) In a wide grassy area, mow wait a few days then broadcast a good granular weeder/feeder and then water it in. Be patient...
4) For flower or veggies bed... MULCH, MULCH and oh, mulch some more (about two to three inches will discourage weeds from popping through. If they do, spot spray with item one above and screen any desirable green things you want NOT to kill.
Above all, Dee... Nothing Successful can be RUSHED!
Is mulch really effecive-I've heard it breeds pests and mold so I've not used it.
There was some great information on weed control in this post a couple of days ago:
And mulch typically only breeds pests or mold when placed too close to the house. Keep a mulch-free space at least a foot or so around the walls.
@Dee: You are doing your plants a disservice by not using a good organic mulch. It helps moderate soil temperature, helps the soil retain moisture and inhibits weed growth. In fact, I would say mulch, in combination with a pre-emergent like Preen, and a richly planted selection of plants, is your best defense against weeds
I had thistles growing everywhere in my back yard, and I cut them off as soon as I another one would pop up. Last summer most of them were gone. I heard that weeds need sun in order to get energy, no stem, no sun, no weeds,