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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


How to Prevent Weeds

Home Depot
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Difficulty: Beginner
Duration: Varies


Keep weeds in the dark with mulch | The Home Depot's Garden Club

Your garden beds can be flower-full and weed-free with the proper preparation. Learn how to prevent weeds.

When you are preparing your garden bed for planting, the digging and raking stirs up dormant weeds waiting for room to grow. That’s why applying a weed preventer like Preen will stop weed seeds from growing. By doing this now, it will help keep your flower beds weed-free all season.

After applying a weed preventer, spread a blanket of mulch around your plants. Mulch blocks sunlight, preventing weeds from growing. Mulch also saves money in the garden. A thick 2-inch blanket of mulch reduces evaporation, so you don’t need to water as often.

With a finishing touch of mulch, your flower beds will look crisp and clean all season long.


  1. Hand pull. Before applying any weed preventer, hand-pull any large weeds. Rake the smaller weeds to loosen them from the soil and discard.
  2. Apply. Use weed preventer throughout your garden bed according to the package instructions.
  3. Water. Lightly water in a granular weed control before mulching.
  4. Use weed preventer. If your garden bed is already mulched, use a topical weed preventer and water the mulch to ensure the weed preventer spreads evenly.
  5. Spot treat. Some weed preventers can be used several times in the growing season. Check package instructions for application frequency.


  1. To improve your soil and add nutrients to your garden, use compost. For natural-looking mulch, use shredded bark, bark nuggets or pine straw. For an informal look, use wood chips. (They last a long time but can reduce nitrogen in the soil as they break down. You can add a nitrogen fertilizer if needed.) For a low-maintenance mulch, use lava rocks, gravel or pebbles. Be careful. Dark stones absorb heat and light ones reflect sunlight, so they can overheat plants in hot weather.
  2. Apply at least 2 to 3 inches of mulch by hand or with a trowel, garden fork or shovel. Keep mulch away from plant trunks or stems, where pests or diseases hide. Add more mulch if it breaks down or starts to look thin.


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