man spraying home made weed killer on weeds

How To Clear a Garden Full of Weeds – 8 Methods

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Weeds are unwanted plants that can wreak havoc in your garden. If you leave them unchecked, they’ll cover the entire garden and stunt the normal growth of your plants. That’s why it’s critically important to resolve this problem as quickly as possible. Clear your garden full of weeds! Remember a weed is a plant where you don’t want it!

You may need a different method depending on your situation. If you are trying to clear the whole area it is different to when you are working round your prized plants!

In this article, I will discuss several methods that you can use to clear a garden full of weeds. It’ll allow your plants to flourish and keep your garden in good condition.

How To Clear a Garden Full of Weeds: Best Methods

Here’s a list of the most effective methods that you can use to clear a garden full of weeds.

1. Mulching

Using organic mulch, such as hardwood chips, grass clippings, and dried leaves, is an excellent way to remove weeds from your garden. You can add organic mulch to your garden soil to cover the areas around plants.

It’ll prevent the sunlight from reaching weed seeds and keep them from germinating and growing, which will kill weed seeds eventually. Mulch will also improve the quality of the soil by adding nutrients to it.

Make sure that you add at least a one-inch-thick layer of organic mulch around your plants. Keeping this material several inches from the plants’ base will also deter pest invasions to prevent the rotting problem.

If you have a lot of weeds it is a good idea to try to remove them before applying your mulch especially if they are perennial weeds. The mulch layer will prevent more weeds.

leaf mould for mulch to clear garden of weeds

2. Hand Tools

It is one of the most affordable and simplest ways to get rid of weeds from the garden. While you can use your hands to pull weeds out of the ground, it’ll require a lot of effort and time. 

Therefore, you should use hand tools, such as, forks, shears and loppers for this purpose. They’ll also help you in pulling weeds from their base, closer to the garden soil line. If you have a lot of annual weeds appearing it can be a good idea to use a garden hoe to slice them off and they will die.

Once you have pulled all the weeds using the hand tool of your choice, consider using a spade to turn over the garden soil. This way, you’ll be able to remove the weed roots effectively. The more root you remove the better as many weeds can grow from very little root. You might also need to add fresh soil to the ground after that.

It’s important to note that you’ll still need to spend a lot of time even if you use hand tools. So, you should use this method only if you’re physically fit. If you feel that you don’t have enough energy, consider hiring a professional.

weeds in gloved hands, clearing garden full of weeds

3. Cardboard Cover on the Soil

A classic method of killing weeds and stopping new ones from taking hold is to use large pieces of cardboard. This method is commonly used in allotments to keep plots weed free between tenants.

Simply lay your cardboard over the ground and weight it down so that it cannot blow away. The lack of light will kill weeds and prevent new ones from growing. Great if you have a large area. Old boxes from household appliance are fabulous for this!

Just remember to weigh or fasten it down otherwise it will blow away.

cardboard on soil to prevent weeds

4. Commercial Weed Killers

Using a commercial weed killer is one of the most effective methods to get rid of the weed problem in your garden. This method will come in handy if you want to clear everything from your garden. There are different types of commercial weed killers available in the market that can help you in killing weeds spread across a bigger area.

All you need is to spray the product over the garden and it’ll kill the weeds effectively. Keep in mind that most commercial weed-killing products contain toxic materials that can affect your health negatively. You’ll need to ensure your safety while applying a weed killer by wearing safety goggles and a face mask.

Additionally, you’ll also need to make sure that pets and kids stay away from your garden until the effects of the product are gone. While this method is effective, it has its own downside.

It won’t suit you best if you’re planning to turn your outdoor area into a vegetable garden or plant something else. That’s because the soil will remain toxic for a long time and it won’t allow anything to grow.

Personally I don’t like commercial weed killers but it has to be a personal choice so I have included the option for you to consider.

5. DIY Weed Killer

You can also make your own weed killer at home if you want. It’s a more budget-friendly option to prevent weed growth without needing to use chemical herbicides.

To make a homemade weed killer, add a few tablespoons of baking soda along with a couple of cups of water to a spray bottle. Mix the two ingredients thoroughly and spray the solution over the weed plants.

You can directly apply baking soda to the plant after spraying the solution as well. It’ll extract water from the plant’s cells and desiccate it. As a result, the weed plant will die within six to eight hours.

It’s the best method if you want to target specific weed plants in your garden, without harming other healthy plants. This method can also be used to prevent weeds from growing in the grooves and crevices.

If you see the growth of weeds in places where you have already used baking soda, consider reapplying it after a couple of weeks.

man spraying home made weed killer on weeds
Man Spraying Weeds
Credit: Photo by

6. Lawn Mower

If you have a mower, you can use it to help make your garden weed free. Frequent mowing weakens weeds and prevents them from setting further seeds and helps you get rid of them eventually.

Make sure that you install a basket on your lawn mower before you start the mowing process. It’ll allow the mower to collect the lawn weeds and clippings instead of leaving them on the ground.

If you don’t attach a basket to your mower, it’ll spread the seeds across your outdoor space, which will escalate the problem.

7. Weed Burner

Using a weed burner to burn garden weeds is another effective and common method that you can use. This tool uses propane to work and creates a powerful flame that you can directly apply to weeds. It works well on weeds that grow near a raised garden bed or beneath fences.

I have personally never done it but I believe it is very effective. If you have experience of this method please let us know your advice in the comments below.

8. Boiling Water

Boiling water causes an instant shock and kills the garden weeds effectively. It’ll come in handy if you can’t use any of the methods discussed above. Not only will it kill weeds but it also destroys weed seeds present in the garden soil.

If you use this method, make sure that you wear safety gloves and boots to ensure your safety. Additionally, you’ll need to be extra careful while pouring boiling water over weeds. Make sure that it doesn’t come in contact with other plants that you want to keep as it’ll also damage them.

Whether you have a weed problem in your garden or on your driveways or garden paths, this method will work and kill weeds within a couple of days.

Final Words

Having a weed problem in a garden is one of the most frustrating experiences for a gardener. They compete with garden plants for soil nutrients, water, light, and space and can stunt their growth. 

If you have the same problem in your garden, consider using one or more of the methods discussed in this guide to solve it.

Once you are on top of your weeds the fun starts. Here are a few great tutorials to help you to develop your garden.

Have you thought of growing an apothecary garden? They can be truly beautiful and full of useful herbs, flowers, etc. Have a read and see if it inspires you.

The most inexpensive way to populate your garden is using seeds. This seed sowing guide will show you what to do and give you lots of tips on making sure you are successful.

Whatever you decide to grow good luck with your garden and let us know in the comments below if you have any great tips for clearing a garden full of weeds and keeping them away.

weed control Pinterest pin

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  1. Hello Christine,

    I’ve used the weed burner method. It works best when the weather is hot and dry.
    It’s very good for eliminating weeds that grow in cracks in the path or between cobble stones.

    1. Thank you so much for adding this. I love to read about personal experience of something. This really adds to this article.

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