Starting a garden
Hello! I'm getting ready to start my second garden. The first was a great success due to the area being used was in great condition. The 2nd flower bed that I am attempting was over grown with weeds of all sorts. I got a shovel and cleared it all out. However, j worry that if I begin to plant flowers, the weeds will grow back as well. What's the best and most efficient way to prevent this?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
This is best done throughout the winter months, by covering the area with plastic, so that it heats up and kills off anything that will try to sprout. Other than this, you can pour boiling water on the area before you plant. This will kill off anything on contact. Do this until the entire area has been burned. Then you can begin to plant.
After your garden is settled then it is best to watch closely, and pull anything that comes up by hand.
This is an article to help you in solarizing your soil over winter: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/projects/how-to-solarize-garden-beds-to-eliminate-garden-pests-in-the-soil.htm
I agree with BushDoctor that solarization will kill weeds and weed seeds; however, in the North, winter solarization is ineffective and only an all summer treatment works. There are likely to be weed seeds in the soil. Don't plant for 2-3 weeks and watch for weed seeds germinating. Clean the bed again. Don't dig or till after this. When planting minimize soil disturbance by only digging holes the necessary size for the plant plug. Soil disturbance by digging is what brings more weed seeds closer to the surface where they are move likely to germinate.