Removing Weeds: Here’s How You Can Fight The Pesky Plants

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:29 pm

Weeds not only disturb the eye, but can also become quite a nuisance. With these methods you can remove weeds – gentle on the soil and fast.

Weeds, also called “companion vegetation”, are plants that grow in undesirable places due to the dispersal of seeds in the soil or wind. Accordingly, weeds in this sense do not grow in the wild, but only in the garden.

Removing Weeds: Here's How You Can Fight The Pesky Plants

Which plants are considered weeds is not uniformly clarified by definition. In general, however, herbs, ferns, grasses, mosses, wildflowers and woody plants are called weeds.

Since they are not only a nuisance, but can also disrupt the overall appearance of your garden, it is important to know how to remove weeds without damaging the soil.

Recognize weeds – these types exist.

As already mentioned, there is no single definition of which plants are considered weeds or which are not. Generally speaking, anything that grows in undesirable places without being planted can be considered a weed.

The better you can determine which weed it is, the more long-term you can remove it. Generally, there are two types of weeds that differ in their main mode of propagation and control.

Root weeds

The danger of root weeds is that they can spread over a wide area under the lawn. The root rhizomes, some of which are meters long, do not stop at paths or other plants and relentlessly seek a way through the soil.

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You cannot simply chop up root weeds, as the individual pieces will continue to grow and consequently the infestation will only increase.

In the case of weeds of this type, it is best to pull the plant out of the ground along with the root and make sure that you catch all parts of the roots if possible.

Seed weed

The second type of weed is the so-called seed weed. As the name implies, these plants produce a large number of seeds, which, if spread, can lead to a real plague of weeds. A classic example of this is the dandelion.

While these plants only grow for an average of one year, they spread so rapidly and consistently that seeds can even survive in the soil for decades. That’s why it’s important to identify and control seed weeds early enough that they don’t have a chance to spread.
Here, it is enough to remove the weed by hoeing, ideally before or during flowering.

Caution: In some cases (as with dandelions) seed weeds have additional long and strong roots, which you should also remove.

Removing weeds by hoeing

Probably the most common method of combating weeds is hoeing. Even though it is probably the least popular option, it is very effective.
However, as already mentioned, this method is suitable only for seed weeds and not for root weeds. The best way to work here is with a hoe that has different hoeing attachments.

Tip: After it has rained, it is especially easy to remove the weeds.
Removing weeds with a joint scraper
Another environmentally friendly method is the joint scraper*. Using a high-quality tool with a sharp blade, you can easily remove weeds from paths, garage entrances and squares without using prohibited weedkillers.

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Remove weeds with a mulch blanket

If you want to avoid weeds in the long term, a blanket of bark mulch* under trees, roses and shrubs is recommended. This way, the weeds lack air and the roots find it difficult to take hold. Even if a plant does find a foothold, it is usually very quick and easy to remove. Instead of a mulch cover, you can also use a weed fleece*.

What to look for in a weed fleece and how to install it, read here.

Remove weeds with a ground cover to suppress the plants.
You can plant plants such as ivy, cranesbill, periwinkle, lily of the valley and many others so close to the ground that the weeds no longer have a chance to grow. All you need to do is follow the recommended plant spacing and, in the early stages, you may need to cover any gaps with bark mulch.

Remove weeds with heat

If you’re struggling with weeds in your driveway, it’s also a good idea to use an infrared or flaming device*. However, because of the heat and the use of gas, this option is not completely safe and should only be used on paved or graveled areas. You must avoid slopes that are overgrown with dry grass!

Control with chemical agents is not very advisable for several reasons. It not only harms the environment and living things in the soil, but also harms other plants that you have in your garden. It is also important to note that fighting weeds with home-mixed means of salt or vinegar is prohibited. Exterminators must be officially labeled as weed killers before they can be used.

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However, sometimes you can use weeds in your favor. Learn here why it sometimes makes sense to leave weeds in the garden.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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