weeds - Knowledgebase Question

Philadelphia, Pa
Question by carolb715
June 12, 2007
I am starting a new garden. Before I plant, is there anything I can put in the soil to destroy the weeds and not harm my plants? If there is, how long do I have to wait before I can put my plants in the ground?


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Answer from NGA
June 12, 2007

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It is important to remove weeds before you plant. You can dig them out or pull them out by hand, taking the roots. Or you can treat them with an herbicide containing glyphosate. Carefully read and follow all of the label directions, including waiting period for the chemical to translocate through the plant from the foliage to the roots where it kills the plant. After loosening the soil and planting, there are several ways to prevent weeds. One is to use a generous layer of organic mulch. This will help prevent weeds, reduce watering needs, and also feeds the soil slowly over time as it breaks down. Mulch should be kept in a layer about three inches thick. If you use transplants rather than seeds to start your garden, you could also use a pre-emergent weed preventer such as corn gluten. This is primarily useful in preventing annual seeds such as crabgrass. It prevents seeds from germinating so you can't use it if you plant to start your garden from seeds -- or you would need to wait until after your seeds have begun to grow. Always read and follow the label directions of any product you use. Good luck with your new garden!

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