- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Wilen recommends home gardeners use a swivel (or hula) hoe to scrape the surface and decapitate weeds. “It's a bit of exercise,” she said, "but you can do it so quickly, it's not a problem.”
Another weed control strategy is a thick layer of mulch, with does double-duty by reducing water evaporation from the soil surface, thereby conserving water. Wilen suggests a three- to four-inch layer of mulch be spread in garden beds and landscape borders before the weed seeds have a chance to germinate. Mulch blocks the sunlight weeds need to push through the ground.
Fabric weed barriers are useful for controlling particularly challenging weeds, like nutsedge. Wilen suggests covering the fabric with mulch for an aesthetically pleasing weed-free garden.
Though the common herbicide glyphosate (such as Roundup) kills weeds and is safe if used correctly, Wilen prefers using the swivel hoe. "It's just quicker and easier than pulling out the spray equipment," she said.
To learn more about managing weeds in your garden and landscape, visit the UC IPM website Weeds page.