Weed Control in Plantings

We did a blog post in the past about weeds in your lawn. We’ll continue that idea here but the topic is going to be weeds in your planting areas like mulch and rock.


Pull Them All:

As laborious as this sounds, it’s really the best option no matter what other plants you have. Pulling the weeds solves the problem at the root (pardon the pun). Many of the other techniques below require pulling the weeds before using them.

To be done correctly, you’ll want to grab the weed as close to the ground as possible while pulling up. You can also use a small garden shovel or hand tool. Our landscape technicians always wear protective gloves and long sleeves when pulling weeds to avoid agitation.

It’s similar to any other preventative maintenance, doing it in small doses is easier than letting the problem compound.

Chemical Treatment:Weed Control in Plantings

These come in two varieties, before weed seeds attack and after they have germinated. No matter what, you’ll want to wear protective clothing whenever using any of these chemicals, just to be safe.


Otherwise known as pre-emergent chemicals, these work by creating a vapor barrier and preventing the seed from germinating and turning into plants. Preen is the most famous brand name of this kind of chemical. It comes in a pellet form. You spread it on the ground or among the plants and, as stated already, it prevents the actual seeds from growing.


Also called post-emergent chemicals or herbicides, these work on weeds that have sprung up already. You’ll want to be VERY careful with these. Many of them are non-selective which means they’ll kill any plant they touch. We do not recommend these chemicals in established plant beds. There are just too many ways the chemical can attack plants. However, it’s great when you’re starting a new landscape bed and need to kill grass or weeds. They also work wonderfully on areas like patios, driveways, and pathways where you do not want any vegetation.

Landscape Fabric:

Landscape fabric is a material that is laid down on a planting bed before plants are put in the ground or top cover is installed. Research and experience shows that it’s not good for mulch beds but it is very effective for rock beds. It works by preventing the weed seeds from ever reaching the ground to start growing. Mulch beds decompose and start to make a dirt layer above the landscape fabric, thus negating it’s usefulness.

We have heard of people using landscape fabric in seasonal gardens. They pull the fabric out at the end of the season and then reuse it. This works great because, like with rock, there is no time for any layer of dirt to form above the weed fabric.

Layer newspaper:

If you’re more eco-friendly and are looking for a short term weed control solution, we have heard that wet newspaper or brown paper bags work. You’ll want to completely weed the area first. Move the mulch or other ground cover out of the way and lay down your newspaper. From what we’ve heard and read, you’ll want to go 8-9 pages thick. Cover the newspaper with your mulch or other ground cover and you’re good. It’s important to note that this is not a perfect solution, it will prevent most weeds but some might still get through the cracks.

Vinegar:vinegar organic weed killer removal

DO NOT use this in a full on planting. However, vinegar works similar to Round-Up or other commercial chemicals. The difference is that it’s more eco-friendly and cheaper. The downside is that it kills ALL plants it hits. This is good for pathways or patios. Areas that you want to be completely plant free. Just load it in a spray tank like any other weed killer and spray away.

KG Landscape Management is your top landscaping professionals in the Twin Cities for any weed removal you need. Give us a call or contact us using our free quote submission. We’ll talk with you about your weed issues and come up with a personalized plan to solve them. Our years of experience and knowledge will serve you well!