How to Control Weeds in an Organic Vegetable Garden

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Weeds are like the uninvited guests at a beautiful dinner party. Nobody likes their presence as they are only visiting to feast on the food. They ruin the table placements and potentially impact the number of dinner servings. So, how do you avoid this situation? Let’s talk about the real weeds that can arise in your garden and harm your organic plants and vegetables’ growth.

Nobody likes the presence of these inessential plants that compete with your organic crops for resources such as nutrients from the soil, water, sunlight, etc. The rapid growth of weeds makes them threatening. If not dealt with faster, they can seed faster and naturally ruin your beautiful garden.

how to control weed growth in your garden
Using gloves, the woman is gardening

The use of herbicides is one solution for eliminating weeds. However, due to their chemical and toxic fumes, spraying herbicides around your organic crops could harm their development and nourishment as well. Hence, manual labor is preferable for the extraction and careful removal of weeds.

How to Control Weeds in an Organic Vegetable Garden

Let’s discuss some useful tips for the removal of weeds and the maintenance of your vegetable garden.

Garden Curation

We strongly advise you to take preventative measures to halt the growth of weeds and irrelevant crops. Therefore, start with the designing of your garden in a way that disallows any weeds from developing. It’s best to choose disease-resistant varieties of plants that are engineered to be more steadfast and strong.

Grow them with little space in the middle to prevent any weeds from emerging in the middle or in small open spaces. Taking this step is vital for avoiding weeds. Planting your vegetables without leaving large distances is essential. Moreover, you should grow plants of different lengths and heights. You should layer your garden and strategically cover the soil, which will prevent weeds from germinating.

You can also use mixed ground covers to hide the exposed soil. The key is to organize and manage your garden by covering the maximum ground and using all the resources, hence leaving no room for weeds.

Cultivation of Soil

Thorough and vigilant soil cultivation is important, but excessive cultivation can destroy and ruin the soil’s texture and potency and make it infertile. Problem-causing weeds can be removed at an early stage with a tool that chops off weed seedlings and removes them before they mature and spread all around your garden.

Furthermore, be careful not to over-cultivate; otherwise, you may unconsciously dig up old buried weed seeds and bring them up to the soil. The best prevention technique is using simple methods of weed cultivation and getting your hands dirty to get the work done. Use tools like fat hoe, scuttle, or swan neck hoe.


This overlooked technique has very strategic use. You need to stay one step ahead when it comes to weeds by cutting and removing the weeds’ flowers and seeds before they start dropping seeds on the ground. Otherwise, you could face a bigger problem. Simply cut off the top of the weeds. There’s no need even to pull out the unnecessary plants.

This method could reduce the number of weed seeds present in the soil by a considerable amount. For all weed strains and types, the topping is highly critical; this is true for annual or seasonal weed plants.

Significance of Mulch

Organic gardens need healthy preservation strategies to keep them on a stable path. Using mulch to remove or blanket the growth of weeds is a proven technique that can be extremely beneficial.

Apply mulch early in the season before the weed germinates. Don’t be so laid back about mulching. If you wait too long, the weed seeds will have ample time to develop and grow right past the mulch.

Do not mulch until you remove all the prior weed plants; it’s better to get done with the labor-intensive work from before to avoid wasting your time and money. Remember that a new layer of mulch won’t suffocate the existing weeds. They will simply find a way to grow, hence pull out the irrelevant weeds and clear out space before applying mulch. 

You should use reliable, weed-resistant mulch. If not, your garden will be vulnerable to more weed growth. Some useful tips for using mulch are to use straw-based mulch and not hay. Straw contains dried stems of wheat and is usually free of weed seeds. On the other hand, hay may have old weed seeds and can harm your organic garden.

Lastly, avoid using garden clippings or lawn trimmings in your vegetable garden as they may have been treated with pesticides, herbicides, or other chemical fertilizers. Hence, you should keep your garden and vegetables protected and healthy.

Abundance of weed plants near the fence
How to eliminate the growth of weeds in your organic garden

Using Newspapers

This is a useful secret technique that many gardeners do not know about. For extra protection of your organic vegetables, it’s best to apply wet layers of newspaper before applying mulch. Make sure you use regular newspapers and not ones with any hardcovers or posters since they contain ink and other chemical compounds.

The application process is simple. Start by covering your garden with newspapers. Then, layer it with leaf compost before planting your crops. Cut a hole in the newspaper and plant your seeds through it. Don’t worry about the newspaper, as it will decompose naturally by the end of the season.

Regulate Your Compost

Homemade compost needs to be monitored and maintained carefully. You must check the ingredients carefully and ensure there are no weed seeds in the compost pile. Try making a routine to keep changing your compost pile weekly or monthly. Turn your compost to oxygenate and allow microbes to do their magic on your garden. Remember, the compost needs to be at 160F degrees to kill weed seeds.

External Weed Seeds

Owning and maintaining an organic vegetable garden or farm can be challenging. Not only do you have to be aware of the types of weeds that can emerge, but you also have to be careful of accidental weed seeds flowing into your garden or plants with a weed problem that you were unaware of.

Do not accept crops from an acquaintance or friend’s garden without examining and rooting out any possibilities of a weed infestation. Be mindful of what you purchase and from where; double-check everything yourself.

Start Tarping

Controlling weeds on your garden periphery is tough; hence, the best way to prevent any weed tips is through tarping. The procedure is quite simple. You start by first cutting out existing weed plants all the way from the ground.

Follow this step by placing a dark-colored tarp on the ground covering the whole place. Pin down the edges with soil and leave the tarp for a few months to eradicate the roots from the weeds.

This is one of the harshest strategies for weeding out your soil since it can harm the soil’s nourishment. Hence, only start tarping when your organic vegetables are in total danger or your garden can’t grow any healthy crops.

A trolley of essential tools and instruments such as mulch, soil, and herbicides to eradicate weeds.
Proper tools are needed to remove the weeds

Weeding Out With Flames

The flaming technique is an exciting and fun method to control weed plant growth and save your garden from permanent damage. This is effective for burning the weeds from the fence or in the cracks of your porch or patio. You can purchase propane-fueled torches designed to flame out weeds or hire a team of professionals to take this problem for you.

When doing this yourself, make sure you adjust the flame’s intensity and protect your organic crops from becoming collateral damage. The flame doesn’t eliminate the roots completely. However, they do a remarkable job of removing annual weeds and keeping peripheral weeds from growing.

Organic Herbicides

The occurrence of weeds can be halted using organic herbicides. Annual weed strains such as henbit, purslane, and crabgrass, etc. can be removed from this weed killer. Pre-emergent herbicides take care of the problem before the eventual growth of these strains.

They are made up of natural grains and are sprinkled over the soil, which will stop the germination of all types of seeds. Hence, you must be very careful where you are sprinkling this and not affect the actual patches where you want your plants to grow.

Manual Hand-Pulling

Using the right tools for this task is essential and enjoyable. Dig out the weeds using your hands, on your knees, with a horihori or a trowel. Use a stand-up weeder that will save you from bending and hurting your back from weeding out for hours. Stand-up weeders can be used easily by positioning the claws over the weed, stepping on the foot wad, and push the claws into the soil.

After this, you should slightly tilt the handle back and pull out the weed using force. A simple slide of the handle will remove the weed. You can then dump it in the garbage. This tool is immensely beneficial and will always you a positive outcome.

Organic Herbicide Sprays

Instead of using synthetic herbicides containing toxic chemicals, use organic and natural alternatives such as a combination of citric acid, cove oil, or acetic acid, etc. to control weed infestations. The acid in commercial organic herbicides is poisonous for your eyes and can cause your hands to feel a burning sensation. Hence, use gloves and protective gear while using these sprays.

A new herbicide product in the market containing iron shows a lot of promise in killing broad weeds but not grass. Hence, they are useful in managing flowers and other plants in your garden. You can spray this novel iron herbicide on the field, and it will only kill the weeds.

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If you want to maintain some weeds for pollination in your lawn or for aesthetic purposes, then using this resource can be productive for your garden. There a myriad of ways for controlling weeds in your organic vegetable garden or farm. Use these techniques, and you will see positive results.

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