University of Illinois Extension
Weed Control - Bed Preparation and General Maintenance - Stepping Stones to Perennial Garden Design - University of Illinois Extension

Weed Control

Weeds are everywhere! Even though you may have eliminated surface weeds at the time of bed preparation, weed seeds lie dormant deep in the soil just waiting to be brought to the surface so they can germinate! Take care of weeds as you see them. A few minutes a day spent weeding is a breeze compared to waiting until they are taller and thicker than your perennials! Most weeds can be killed by using a sharp hoe, shallowly severing the top from the roots just below the soil surface. If you plunge deeper, you risk damaging desirable perennial roots.

There are chemicals you can spray, but in the time it takes to kill the weed, turning it unsightly, you could have pulled it 10 times!

Pre-emergent herbicide products are on the market. These are designed to prevent germination of weed seeds. They will not control existing perennial weeds. They do reduce your weeding time. If interested, check with your local garden center or nursery. Be sure to read and follow all label instructions.