Weeds are what spoil the beauty of your garden, and this is one of the most important reasons that you need to know how to keep weed out of vegetable garden. No matter how much you try to keep them out of your vegetable garden, they always come back! Most of what gardeners do in their garden is to remove weeds as well as taking care of their vegetables, which requires a lot of time. Therefore, it is better if you learn how to take care of the problem once and for all.
10 Effective Ways to Keep Weeds Out Of Vegetable Garden
Remove Bare Soil
The first step to take to know how to keep weeds out of vegetable garden is to remove all the bare soil you have in your garden that you are not using at the moment. Weeds need soil to grow, and therefore - no soil, no weed. If you keep an unused bare soil area in your vegetable garden, it's inevitable that you will find weeds growing everywhere. If you don't have any open spaces, you won’t find weed lurking.
Stop Tilling Your Soil
The second advice would be to stop tilling your soil beds if you want to know how to keep weeds out of vegetable garden permanently. When you are tilling your soil beds, you are wasting your time, as well as replanting weeds that would very soon start to grow. Tilling your soil will only allow you to remove the weeds that are on the surface, but at the same time, you are inviting new weeds to germinate by giving them light and air. So stop tilling your soil if you want to know how to keep weeds out of vegetable garden.
Use Mulch on the Weeds
Make mulch from mixing straw and hay with leaves, grass, pine needles, etc, and put the mulch on your soil beds where you see weeds growing. Make sure that you have put down a thick layer, about 5-6 inches at least to get rid of the weeds. This mixture will not only kill your existing weed, but also stop more from coming, as well as balance the moisture in the soil, and reduce fungi attack.
Use Plastic for Cover
You can use a sheet of plastic to cover the bare soil bed where weeds grow, and you can be sure not to see any growth. This will also help your soil keep warm in case you live in a cold climate. However, if you live in a warm zone, be sure to remove the plastic covering because the soil will get too hot and harm your vegetables.
Use Newspapers, too
If you are not too enthusiastic about using plastic in your vegetable garden, you can do the same with some newspapers. Make a thick layer of newspapers over your weed-infested soil and put a layer of mulch over it to hold the newspapers in place. Without any light and air, the weed would stop growing and the existing ones would slowly wither and die. Besides, you won't have to worry about the newspaper; within a few months, they will decompose and become humus for your soil.
Off with the Head
If you are suffering from only a few weeds, it is better to just cut off their tops rather than pull them out. Some weeds come annually, and you can just cut them off in the beginning of the season and they won't bother you again until the next year. When you are cutting off the top, you are removing their main reserve of food, and thus, the rest of the weeds can't spread much.
Use a Vinegar Spray
Put some vinegar into a spray bottle and add some water to it. Spray the vinegar-water to the weeds you want to remove, and it will quickly kill the weeds for you to pull them out easily. However, you need to be careful that you don't get any vinegar on your other vegetable plants, because plants hate vinegar as it will kill them. This is a safe method if your weed is growing someplace that is not near your other vegetable plants.
Pour in Boiling Water
This is also only applicable if your weed is growing separately or if you haven't planted any vegetable yet. Choose a location and pour in boiling water all over the place. The water will kill whatever weed that was growing on your soil as well as the weed that was planning to surface and preparing to grow. If you can do this at the beginning of a planting season, it would help you grow your vegetables for months ahead without having to worry about weeds.
Keep Your Plants Close
If it is possible, plant your vegetable close to each other so that when they grow, there isn't much room in between that gets direct sunlight. Weeds would only grow in places where the sunlight can enter directly, and where there is plenty of air. If your vegetable plants are close to each other, there won't be any room or any sunlight for weeds to grow in between them.
Take Help from the Sun
Before the season start, water your soil beds well, and place a large sheet of plastic over them, right when the sun is at its extreme. The heat from the sun will soak through the plastic and evaporate the water, causing it to heat within the plastic. The heat alone will be strong enough to kill the weeds - the ones that have grown as well as the ones that will.