Nobody likes weeds in their garden, but unfortunately that is one of the things that a gardener has to put up with. However, you can manage the weeds in your garden so that each year you will have fewer and fewer weeds to deal with.
Probably the best way to manage weeds in the garden it to stay on top of things! Get at the weeds while they are small and before they have started to flower and drop seed. By eliminating weeds before they have a chance to go to seed, you are getting a head start on next year's crop of weeds. Generally, when weeds are small they are very easy to pull or remove with a hoe. But if the weeds in your garden are overwhelming, you can use an herbicide to control them.
Herbicides are basically a chemical - organic or synthetic, that kills unwanted plants. You have to use care when you use any type of herbicide because they can harm the good plants as well. Read the labels well to make sure you are using it in the right area. For instance, you will not want to use a broadleaf herbicide directly on your garden. This type of weed killer attacks plants that are not grasses. As a result, most of your garden plants would suffer. A broadleaf killer is good for lawns to get rid of dandelions as well as paths and driveways. An herbicide such as a broadleaf variety is a selective weed killer, meaning it only kills certain plants. There are pesticides that are not selective and they will kill everything in the area. Use care when using this type of weed killer because run off from rain and sprinklers can cause them to run into areas you didn't want to kill!
Chemicals can be beneficial when you have a large amount of weeds to control. However, you can also prevent weeds as you plant your garden by using weed barrier fabric and a thick layer of mulch. Not only will these things help control the weeds in the garden, they will also help to maintain the moisture which in turn will save on your watering costs. In addition to using the weed barrier and mulch, you can apply a pre-emergent herbicide after all the plants have sprouted to about 2 to 3 inches tall. This type of weed killer helps to prevent the weed seeds from germinating. Using this type of herbicide can cut down on about 90% of the weeds in your yard.
Garden weed control doesn't need to be difficult or harmful to the plants. Herbicides used moderately and with caution help the garden grow bountifully without weeds overwhelming the good plants. But no matter if you choose to use herbicides or not, staying ahead of the weeds is the best way to keep them under control.