You have just finished weeding the front garden, but as you walk around the back, you realize you now have to start again there. "How to get rid of weeds" you say to yourself, especially when you don't have as much time to dedicate to gardening as you would like. Any time you do have, you would rather be planting or pruning or enjoying your garden, not picking out the weeds and doing weed control right? You don't want to resort to chemicals, but the weeds seem to be winning right?

Snuffing Out Weeds

Well there is a way to make your gardens look weed free. This is not a permanent solution but it works well. Turn over your flower beds as you normally wood just to loosen the soil for the plants. If you already have plants that are rooted and happy, don't dig too close to them and disrupt the roots. If you are planting new plants, then get the flower bed ready as usual.

Take away debris and as many surface weeds as you can. To smother them, and stop new ones from growing, you are now going to take newspapers and spreading them at least 2 - 4 layers thick, cover the flower bed starting around the base of the plants, and working your way to the edge.  Put some weight on as you go from cedar mulch or other toppings.


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This works best if you edge your garden, so you have a bit of a divit between the garden and the lawn. Now as you can imagine, this does not work well on a windy day, or you may be trying to, at the same time as you are plastering your neighbors yard with newspapers! So if it is breezy just do a few sheets at a time, and have some mulch ready.

I usually get a load of mulch delivered as I have a few gardens, but you can get this in bags online and delivered to your door. You can cover the newspapers with garden soil, but I find the mulch works best, as it keeps in moisture and looks good in the beds.  Garden soil will just attract new weed spores so go with a good cedar mulch.

As you layer the open newspapers, throw a few handfuls of mulch on to keep it down, then pour the bag on afterwards, to a few inches thick.

Your garden will look instantly better, and you have a head start. You are now preventing them from getting through for a while.

Getting rid of grass

This process also works for getting rid of grass, and is great to use in between plants, especially when you don't want to be digging so close to the tender roots in an attempt to get rid of grass. Use the newspaper system for this as well. The grass will have a hard time growing and will die off, and the paper will eventually rot into the ground, so this newspaper works as a bit of a compost as well, breaking down the grass and soil as it decomposes.

So now you know how to create new gardens and get rid of grass, as well as weeds from prepared flower beds and gardens.

Getting rid of weeds and grass in rock gardens

I have one of those rock gardens that is not natural, it is actually the rocks that were dug out of the basement when the house was built and thrown in a pile on the front lawn! This somehow became the rock garden since no one wanted to move the rocks.

This was fine and dandy and I grow some nice flowers there, but the way the big rocks are on top of each other there are little crevices where huge weeds and grass like to grow up from. I can't get at them to take them out, so I stuff newspaper in the crevices and cover with mulch. This seems to work well. I do this again each spring, and so far it has worked.

It makes the rock garden instantly look like you spent the day weeding and saves you a ton of work.

Getting rid of Them in a hurry.

If you have an established garden that does not need the newspaper trick to cover anything, but you still need to clean up the weeds that grown in between the shrubs and flowers etc, but are short on time. Here is a hint.

If you have not had a chance to get at a flower bed and it is looking messy, and you only have a little bit of time, instead of climbing in amongst the shrubs and roses, take a spade and edge the garden, and weed about 6 inches to a foot around the edge only.

A nicely edged garden seems to take your eye away from the weeds in the middle. Your eye follows the perfect edging line you just created and the weed free soil along the edge.

By doing this just along the edge, just means a quick walk around the flower bed and pulling them up, and a quick spade to even out the edges and turn over the soil there, and presto! It looks like you have been gardening. Then you can attack the other weeds later.

To snuff them out, you can try the above tips before getting into the chemical warfare, newspapers are biodegradable and will help keep the weeds down. For some reason weeds can push through the harshest of materials, but don't seem to push through newspaper the same way. So, this will cover the existing weeds in your flower beds a easier task.

The mulch will help nourish the soil as well, and the plants are going to love you! Not only will you be done with them, but you will feed the soil, and keep the plants moist and cut down on watering. This is a win win situation. Plus the added benefit of a instantly buff looking garden!