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Weeding 101: Weed Control Methods

February 6, 2024

The Weed Killer – Strategies for Your Garden

What is your overall strategy for killing weeds? If you are like my past self, you just went the easy, maybe not so easy, way of just dealing with weed issues in the moment. In this post, I’ll talk about creating a broader strategy for controlling weed in your garden and on your property through combined methods and a proactive overall strategy. If you haven’t read my first post on weeding and weed control you can find it here: Weeding: know your

enemy. Essentially, you need to look at it from holistic perspective, any use four general methodologies: cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical. At the intersection of these for combined methods is your overall weed strategy intersection. Below are sections on each separate method of weed control.

weed killing methods and strategy
Weed Control Methods

Cultural Weed Control Methods

This area of weed control creates an environment that is unfavorable to weed growth and success. It essentially requires the creation of a cultural environment to give your desired plant selection a growth advantage over non-desirables, or weeds. This includes the proper preparation of soil and the reduction of compaction for healthy root growth. A key strategy here is also to choose the right plants for success. Managing your irrigation and using watering techniques appropriate for your plant type and location can helps as well. You can also use cover crops and crop rotation to keep the weeds at bay during the off season.

Mechanical Weed Control Methods

Mechanical, or physical, weed control is the use of good old fashioned methods: labor, tools and barriers. Here is a list of weed control methods that fall into this category:

  • Hand pulling weeds, or “weeding”
  • Weed grabbers
  • Hoeing
  • Cultivation
  • Rototilling or discing
  • Mowing
  • Flaming
  • Weedeating
  • Mulching
  • Solarizing

Odds are you already use these methods in one way or another in your weeding strategy today. Hand weeding tools are the most popular method.

weeding techniques for success
Weeding hand tools can be old school or unique like these.

Biological Weed Control Methods

Ah, the old bioweapons!! Biological techniques have become popular over the past few years. Inn our area, East of Sacramento, herds of sheep and goats can be rented to graze and bring your fields down to the nub. Here are some bio weeding techniques that are friendly to the environment:

  • Grazing goats
  • Grazing sheep
  • Grazing Cattle
  • Birds: Chickens, Geese and Ducks
  • Beneficial Insects

Chemical Methods of Weed Control

It’s so easy to just drive on down to Home Depot and buy some weed spray. I use it on the tough weeds and for speed at times, but i hate to spread the chemicals into the environment. There are two types of herbicides: contact and systemic. Essentially is you choose to use the chemical option you have to be very sure you don’t affect innocent bystanders (your favorite plants), and create collateral damage. Here is a list of chemical weed warfare options:

  • Herbicides (Selective and Nonselective)
  • Organic Herbacides
  • Auxins (Hormones)

Just be careful and read the labels of all weed killers and compounds.

Combining one, two or all of these methods can lead to less weeds, and more time to enjoy your gardening endeavors. I’ll post some more weed strategy tips over time and please share any comments you may have! Happy weeding!