How To Control (Unfortunately Not Eliminate) Weeds In Your Garden

I am a passionate gardener. I love to grow all kinds of perennials in several different garden beds. I love how the different perennials bloom at different times during the summer making it so that my flower gardens never look the same from week to week and month to month.
I enjoy all of the various tasks that go along with keeping a flower garden except for one and that is weeding. The less weeding I have to do the better. So through trial and error I have figured out three steps that help control the amount of weeds that sneak into my garden. Notice I used the term 'control'. I have yet to discover how to eliminate these pesky plants entirely.
I live on a ravine that overlooks a beautiful river. The good news is that it's very serene and picturesque. The bad news is that the ravine is filled with lots of natural plants many of which are weeds.
Do you recognize this one? Dandelions and many other weeds sprinkled among wild flowers and prairie grasses grow in the hundreds maybe even thousands behind my property. So it's a challenge to make sure these plants don't take over my yard once they go to seed. I have figured out that it's better to be proactive and preventative and it takes just three steps!
Step 1
Amend the soil every year. By this I mean make sure the soil is kept fertile by adding such amendments as compost, peat moss and bone meal. Happy soil makes for happy and healthy flowers.
Step 2
Only grow annuals in outdoor pots. I used to buy my annuals at the nursery and grow a lot of them from seed in the ground. I gave up on that idea a long time ago because it was really difficult trying to keep the weeds under control when they were growing among the lovely annuals. Now I have about twenty different pots filled with annuals growing in different places in the garden amongst the perennials. I have yet to pull a weed out of these outdoor pots!
Step 3
Cover the garden with mulch. Mulch helps to not only control weed growth but it also keeps the moisture in the ground. I also find that the mulch makes weeding a lot easier to do because the soil is kept a lot more loose and soft. There are lots of different types of mulch that you can buy in bulk or by the bag. I prefer the dark mulch that blends in with the soil.
Here's one of my outdoor pots and below it you can see the mulch spread around the plants in this front garden bed.
That's it! These are the three steps I take to control the weeds in my garden. The weeds are not totally eliminated but they sure are greatly reduced.
These are the highlights for how I figured out how to control weeds in the garden. I invite you to check the original blog post for more details and a comprehensive explanation.

Time With Thea
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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  • Barbara Barbara on Feb 26, 2015
    I was wondering, will this kill grass too? Not that I want to, but if I spray the mixture on the lawn I am thinking it will kill the grass too, Right?
    • See 3 previous
    • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Mar 02, 2015
      @Time With Thea Yes, you need to write that post!
  • Barbara Barbara on Mar 01, 2015
    Thanks Thea. I want bees to stay around but need to get the weeds out and I am looking for an easy way to do that. Digging them out is not an option for me anymore.