How to Kill Weeds Before Planting Vegetables

When it comes to gardening, weeds are one of the most common problems. Many gardeners understand that weeds must be controlled. What some gardeners do not realize is that removing weeds after planting your vegetables is not always enough. You must kill and remove any existing weeds before planting your vegetables to ensure that weeds do not threaten your vegetable seedlings as they grow.

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Unchecked weeds in your garden can choke out your vegetable plants.

Step 1

Pull large weeds by hand or dig the up by the roots with a small trowel. Removing as much of the root system as possible ensures that the weed does not come back after you plant your vegetable seeds.

Step 2

Turn the soil in your vegetable garden with a garden tiller or a push plow. These tools help to break up the weeds' roots and prepare the soil for your vegetable plants.

Step 3

Apply a layer of trifluralin herbicide to your garden. This type herbicide is effective in controlling weed seedlings.

Step 4

Plant your vegetables as normal using your choice of seeds and seedlings or by transplanting juvenile plants directly into the garden.

Step 5

Maintain weed control by applying a layer of organic mulch on the surface of the soil around your vegetable plants. Organic mulches, such as manure, bark and grass clippings, suppress weed growth and increase moisture retention.

Step 6

Remove weeds by hand, pinching them at the base and pulling them up by the roots. If you grow your vegetables from seed, be sure you know what your vegetable seedlings' appearance, so that you differentiate between them and weeds.

Step 7

Remove weeds before they reach 3 inches tall. Larger weeds have larger root systems and pulling them may damage the vegetable plants' roots.