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How to Get Rid of Weeds

A perfect, green lawn and colorful flower garden are worth your time and effort. Don't let weeds ruin your hard work.


  • Step 1: Prepare the soil Check the soil. The ground should be moist but not soggy; if it's dry, pour water on the area and let it soak in. The soil should also be loose. If it's compacted, use a gardening fork or trowel to dig around the weed.
  • TIP: Using scalding hot water helps loosen the soil and can kill weeds. Be careful not to splash yourself, though!
  • Step 2: Remove the weeds Grasp the weed at the base of the plant and pull gently until the entire root comes out. If the root is stuck, dig into the soil with a spade at an angle, toward the center of the root. Push down on the handle while you gently pull on the weed. Shake excess dirt off the roots.
  • TIP: Don't wait to weed! It is easier to remove weeds when their roots are smaller, and before they have flowered or gone to seed.
  • Step 3: Get rid of roots If the root breaks, remove any leftover pieces with a hoe, spade, or garden fork to dig up any weed pieces. If you miss one, the weed will regrow and you'll have to pull it again!
  • TIP: Stubborn weeds may require the use of herbicides. Follow instructions and apply carefully.
  • Step 4: Dispose of weeds Check local regulations regarding weed disposal. In some states, it is illegal to combine yard waste with household trash. If you have a compost pile, make sure the pulled weeds are completely dead and dried before you add them - two weeks in the sun should do it.
  • TIP: To create a weed compost pile, cover the weeds with a black plastic bag or tarp and leave them to decompose for up to 2 years.
  • Step 5: Prevent regrowth of weeds Make sure to reseed any bare patches of lawn caused by weeding. Thicker grass means less room for weeds.
  • Step 6: Prevent weeds Prevent weeds from coming back by applying a one- to four-inch layer of organic mulch to the area. Just be careful not to smother your plants!
  • FACT: One of the most troublesome weeds – dandelion – is also one of the most nutritious plants.

You Will Need

  • Water
  • Garden tools
  • such as a trowel
  • fork
  • or hoe
  • Mulch or lawn seed
  • Herbicide
  • A bag for recycling compost
  • Black plastic bag or tarp

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