The Q&A Archives: Eliminating Weeds

Question: I am starting a flower garden in an old garden patch that is now taken over with weeds/grass. Can I simply till the weeds into the ground or do I need to dig out all the unwanted foliage before planting my flowers? C. Konz Iowa City, IA

Answer: There are a number of ways you can eliminate the weeds and grass from your garden. I think the easiest way is to cover the patch with black plastic or a very thick mulch (6+ inches) for 3-4 weeks...then till. You could till in all the weeds and grass but then you'd spend alot of time removing any large plants and grass. Tilling like that would also till in any weed seeds. You could remove all plants by hand as you suggest...alot of work. Or you could use an herbicide such as Roundup. It binds to the soil and is not chemically available for uptake by the plants or leaching into the groundwater.

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