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pull weeds while grass seed germinates

A standard garden hoe, such as the ERGIESHOVEL (available from Amazon) is the best all-around weeding tool because it can be used to remove small weeds without the need to bend over or kneel on the ground.

Weed-killing heat can also be generated using plastic. After harvest in fall, cover a planting bed with dark landscape plastic (hold it in place rocks or bricks) and leave it on over the winter. Sun hitting the plastic will heat up the soil temperature beneath to destroy weed seeds.

Hot water can also kill weeds. Carefully pour a pitcher of just-boiled water directly on weeds or use a steam weeder, such as the DynaSteam Weeder (available at Amazon), to simplify the process—and reduce the risk of dripping scalding water on your feet.

How do I get rid of daisies from my lawn?

Tilling is still necessary, but only once—when starting the garden in early spring to loosen the soil. After that, cover the garden with four to six inches of organic mulch (dried leaves, grass clippings, or hardwood chips). The mulch helps keep the soil beneath moist and prevents weed seeds from sprouting by keeping light from reaching the soil’s surface. When it’s time to plant seeds or transplant seedlings, just push the mulch aside in that spot—the ground beneath will be soft and ready to receive the new plants.

Maintaining an entirely weed-free garden and landscape may not be possible, but by addressing problems promptly and taking steps to reduce future weed growth, gardeners can lessen the time spent weeding. Ahead, learn how to deal with weeds and find out which tools and products make the task simpler.

Weeds will always be with us, but they can be reduced to a manageable number by following good gardening techniques. This includes pulling weeds when they’re small, using a barrier, such as landscape fabric, applying a pre-emergent herbicide to the soil around beneficial plants, or practicing no-till gardening.

You don’t have to kill or pull weeds if they don’t grow in the first place, so consider a pre-emergent to keep weed seeds from germinating. Sprinkle a granular pre-emergent herbicide such as Preen’s Organic Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer (available on Amazon) on the soil and then water. The granules will dissolve and permeate the soil, creating a barrier around the weed seeds. A single application will last up to 12 weeks, after which the product can be reapplied.

Cover the soil with the correct grass seed for your location and the amount needed to cover the area. For example, some parts of the San Francisco Bay area work best with warm-season grasses — such as St. Augustine, buffalo or zoysia grass — while other Bay areas thrive with cool-season grasses such as tall fescue and perennial rye. Use your gloved hands to distribute the seeds evenly over areas smaller than 150 square feet. For larger areas, use a seed spreader.

Apply a thin layer – about 1/4 inch – of high-quality topsoil over the grass seed. Applying too thick and the seeds have a hard time germinating. Attach a garden hose sprayer with a mist option to a water hose. Dampen the top 6 inches of the soil with the water hose set on mist. Using a mist of water instead of a stream will prevent the seeds from washing away.

Till the top 6 inches of soil with a soil tiller. You can rent or purchase soil tillers at home improvement centers and rental yards. After the tiller turns under the dead weeds and soil, rake the soil with a garden rake to level the area as much as possible. Remove large rocks and break up clumps of soil.

Remove the weeds from the area by either manually pulling them out of the ground or applying weed killer to the area. Hand-pulling weeds is safer for the soil, but removing all the roots can be difficult. Chemical weed killer kills the weeds and their roots, but may damage grass seed and leave pesticide residue in the soil, if you plant the seeds too soon after the herbicide application. If you choose to use weed killer, wait 2 to 3 weeks before planting new grass seed.

Trying to grow grass in a weeded area is a frustrating task that generally provides undesirable results. Weeds are aggressive and invasive plants that choke out grass and flowers. They quickly take over an area and are notoriously hard to get rid of. When you choose to grow grass in an area overrun by weeds, you essentially have to start fresh by establishing new turf.

Continue watering the soil two to three times a day until the seeds have germinated and the grass is about 1/2-inch high. After germination occurs, you can cut back watering to once every day or two. Never let the seeds dry out.