Weeds are a common problem for homeowners and learning how to prevent weeds can be a challenge.  They can quickly overtake your garden and make it look unsightly. Luckily, several methods of dealing with weeds can help keep them under control. We’ve outlined some of our favorite ways to prevent and treat weeds below.

Identify the types of weeds you’ve got

When it comes to weeds, there are 2 main varieties; annual and perennial.

Annual weeds typically only last one season, but they leave behind seeds that will continue their cycle. It’s best to get rid of these before they have a chance to seed. Common annual weeds in Illinois include

  • Oxalis
  • Crabgrass
  • Chickweed

Perennial weeds spread invasively and will continue returning each year unless they are entirely removed.

  • Stinging nettle
  • Plantain

Once you’ve got a better understanding of the types of weeds you’ve got, you’ll be able to better deal with them. 


Prevent Weeds: Weeds for sale image

Ways to prevent weeds

Weed by hand

A tried and true method of dealing with weeds is to remove them by hand or with a hoe and rake. 

If you have weeds between your crops or plants, use a hoe to remove them. If you have weeds on the lawn, use a rake. If there are weeds in garden beds, use either type of tool for removing those as well.

When weeding by hand, we strongly recommend ‘doing it little and often’. By this, we mean doing a little bit of weeding as regularly as possible rather than leaving the weeds to grow. Putting in this regular effort will really pay off in the long run.

Weed with organic herbicides and pesticides

Organic herbicides and pesticides are substances that are derived from natural sources and do not involve synthetic chemicals. Organic herbicides kill weeds by disrupting their growth. They can be effective, but they also require a lot of work.

Organic herbicides include:

  • vinegar-based solutions (made by mixing vinegar with water, dish soap, or vinegar with salt)
  • diatomaceous earth (a powder made from fossilized shells)


Another effective option is to use boiling water. By pouring it over the weed, you’ll effectively burn their roots and prevent them from respawning. 


Weed prevention

After you’ve removed the weeds, add compost and fertilizer, and cover the soil with a layer of cardboard or a weed mat. Then spread a thin layer of mulch over the top to prevent weed growth.

Also, consider the spacing between your plants, if there’s empty space between your plants, weeds will thrive. This may mean planting more ground cover or other plants to prevent them from growing. 


Best way to dispose of the weeds

Prevent Weeds: Weed prevention

Now you may just be wondering, what should I do with all these weeds once I’ve removed them? While it may be tempting to add them to your existing compost heap, this can often cause more harm than good. Weed seeds can lay dormant for many years and can crop up at the most inconvenient of times. The best way to get rid of weeds is to take them to your local landfill or organize a landscaping company to remove them.

If you want to keep your garden looking beautiful and lush, then it’s important to take care of weeds. Weeds can ruin the aesthetic value of your yard and make it look unkempt if not properly taken care of. With the tips above, you should be able to effectively deal with weeds and prevent them from coming back!




If you need help with your weed maintenance, then you have come to the perfect place! American Gardens offers many services to ensure that your landscaping is in tip-top shape! Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Contact American Gardens Today!