Weeds are the bane of a gardener’s existence. It seems the second you pull one, three more appear in its place. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned gardener, avoiding the scourge of weeds can seem like a faraway dream. At Jobe’s, we understand your pain. From strategic planting to installing weed fabric, we’ve chosen some of our simplest tips for helping keep weeds at bay.

Don’t Overdo It

Pulling weeds as quickly as possible stops them from distributing hundreds of seeds. Weed gently so as not to disturb the soil, though; soil gaps encourage weed germination. Go easy on the mulch, too. While mulch applied a couple of inches deep helps prevent weeds from taking over, too much mulch can actually promote weed growth. Weed fabric is a long-lasting addition to organic mulches, but you’ll need to allow a little more time to work with it when adding new plants.

Pack in the Plants

If you leave openings in your garden, Mother Nature will be happy to fill in the blanks with weeds. It’s okay to leave smaller gaps between plants than those recommended on that little plastic tag. The fewer plants in your garden plot, the greater the likelihood that weeds will fill out the empty spots. Plants actually share information with each other when they’re able to touch. Part of their communication focuses on keeping weeds out of their home. Deprive them of sharing, and you’ll have fewer allies in the war against weeds.

Proper Weed-Pulling Techniques

The ideal time to pull weeds, either by hand or with a hoe, is the day after it rains. Damp soil becomes loose and makes it easier to pull the roots out along with the weeds. If your area is going through a dry spell, moisten soil with a hose and let the water soak in overnight. Deep-rooted weeds can be more easily removed by gently loosening the soil near the stem. Remember, the less you disturb the soil, the better.

Weeds can put a damper on even the most experienced gardener’s efforts. They steal nutrients meant to help your flowers and edibles grow, and they mar the beauty of your carefully planned garden. From working with weed fabric to allowing your plants to communicate, these tips from Jobe’s will help to keep your plot more weed-free.