How to Prevent Weed Growth

elderly hands pulling weeds from flower garden

No gardener wants to discover unsightly weeds growing alongside their vegetables or flowers. If you’re wondering how to stop them from invading your garden, we’re about to explore several methods for evicting these nasty trespassers.

What is a Weed?

What constitutes a weed very much lies in the eye of the beholder. Some are ugly and unruly, but others look like pretty flowers. So, how can you tell the difference? Turns out that’s not as easy as you might expect. According to Collins Dictionary, “A weed is a wild plant that grows in gardens or fields of crops and prevents the plants that you want from growing properly.” That leaves a lot open to interpretation. While you might not want them, a preschooler will think dandelions and buttercups are cherished gifts to bring home to Mom. But even pretty weeds are generally harmful to other plants or animals. Those dandelions can stop more desirable plants from growing, while buttercups are outright poisonous.

Organic Prevention Methods

When it comes to banishing weeds, there are several ways you can go about it. If you prefer a natural approach, consider a traditional method. Grab a shovel or hoe and start digging. While eco-friendly, this is also time-consuming and tedious, as you must do this on an almost daily basis. Here are a few other eco-friendly methods to try instead:

  • Mulch with wood chips, grass clippings, or other organic material to snuff out weed growth and prevent their seeds from germinating.
  • Use the power of the sun by covering weeds with a clear plastic sheet and let all that unwanted vegetation fry.
  • Take care of those pesky dandelions by dousing them with boiling water.
  • Create your own weed-kill formula with vinegar, salt, and dish soap and apply it “generously.” 
  • Feed weeds corn meal on a dry day to stop them in their tracks.
  • Flame on with a propane weeding wand, and burn them away.

If none of those methods work, or if you can’t get to them before they start overtaking your lawn, you could consider embracing them and then ingesting them. That’s right, some varieties of weeds are edible. Dandelion tea, anyone?

Chemical Prevention Methods

While organic methods are great, sometimes stubborn weeds require a more targeted action. Chemical prevention works but it should be used cautiously. When using herbicides:

  • Read the labels to ensure the chemicals will work on the weeds you want to eliminate. 
  • Follow the instructions carefully and apply sparingly.
  • Target problem areas with spot treatments instead of spraying across your entire lawn. 
  • Maximize overall effectiveness by only using when it’s warm and dry.

Maintenance and Inspection

Keeping your lawn weed-free takes TLC. Deep but less frequent morning watering discourages unwanted growth. Next, think about what you’re feeding your vegetation. Use balanced, slow-release fertilizers to give your yard essential nutrients without encouraging anything else to take up residence. Keep it neat and trimmed by mowing regularly so seeds can’t spread.

You can also stay ahead of any would-be invasions by inspecting your lawn care routine. Once a week, walk through your yard and see if anything’s sprouting up where it shouldn’t be. If you notice something wild and unruly, yank it up with a weeding tool or your hands. Stop it from returning by being thorough and don’t forget to grab those roots. Once you’re done pulling up the weeds, it’s time to get rid of them, and make sure to put them in a sealed bag or compost bin to prevent reseeding.

RELS Solutions

When you’re looking for a reliable method of preventing or removing weeds, RELS Landscaping is here for you. We have a wide variety of mulch to suppress them while retaining the soil’s moisture. Once your lawn is lush and lovely, we have beautiful trees, shrubs, annuals & perennials for you to enjoy.


Keeping your lawn weed-free requires a combination of organic and chemical prevention methods, regular maintenance, and quality landscaping products. By following these tips and using our high-quality products, you can have a vibrant, healthy lawn. For more information or to request a catalog, contact us. Happy weeding!