Unfortunately, those pernicious invaders we think of as weeds seem to be more tenacious and resilient than our desirable garden plants. The best way to manage weeds is to avoid bare soil in the garden and landscape. Mulch is a great first line of defense in preventing weed seeds from getting a start. Dense turf is its own best weed deterrent while thin turf areas are prone to ongoing weed problems. You can find out more about compost and mulch in the soils section.
Limit weed problems organically the old fashioned way by hand pulling or hoeing. Often the combination of mulch, dense turf or ground cover and some hand removal is enough to maintain acceptable weed control in the landscape and garden without resorting to sprays.
There are a number of herbicide products on the market for managing weeds. However, do not depend on herbicides to continually rescue weed problems brought on by bad management. Use herbicides as a targeted spot treatment and avoid the negative effects on desirable landscape plants and the environment.
Weed control products may be synthetic or natural. Some known as pre-emergence products work to prevent weed seeds from growing. Others, known as post-emergence products, kill weeds after they are already growing. Certain products control grassy weeds, others control broad leaf weeds and still others control both.
Before purchasing or applying weed control products, contact the Extension Office or a nursery professional to discuss the best approach for your particular weed problem. Factors such as weed species, surrounding plant material, temperature and time of year all should be considered before purchasing and applying any product.
The resources listed below are compiled to help you identify and manage your landscape and garden weeds in the safest, most effective and environmentally responsible way possible.