How to Stop Weeds in Herb Garden

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One of the most annoying things is when you plant a herb garden only to realize that there are more weeds growing than herbs. 

Weeds can grow really quickly and spread all around your herb garden. This is not ideal. Therefore, today we are going to discuss various methods on how to stop weeds in an herb garden.

How to Stop Weeds in Herb Garden

Use Mulch on the Surface of the Soil

A great way to help stop weeds from growing in your herb garden is to use some mulch. Mulch can be made out of a combination of materials. These include things like grass clippings, leaves, pine needles, hay, wood chips, and straw. 

You want to put down a fairly thick layer of this mulch around your plants, making sure to cover all of the soil. Also, make sure to pack it down quite tightly. This will help prevent light and oxygen from getting to any weeds that are in the soil. 

Mulch also has many other benefits for your plans. For instance, it reduces water splashing on your plant leaves. This can help reduce fungi and help prevent them from getting burned. Mulch is also great for moderating temperature and holding moisture.

Don’t Over Till Your Garden

In terms of weed growth, one of the most common mistakes is to till the garden too much. Yes, tilling a garden is necessary in some cases. However, it really won’t do you any favors when it comes to weeds growing uncontrollably.

The reason for this is because the seeds that lead to weed growth are in the soil all around your herbs. However, it is the seeds that are within the top 2 inches of the soil that will get enough moisture and light to grow properly. 

Anything deeper down than that won’t really grow. Therefore, if you till your garden too much, you are actually bringing those seeds up to the surface. Over tilling your garden can actually lead to extreme weed growth.

Just Pull Them Out

Sometimes, no matter what you do, weeds will grow in your garden. There are some weeds that are very resilient and can survive a variety of treatment methods. Therefore, one of the best things that you can do when you see weeds is if you pull them right away. 

Of course, this is by far the most cost-effective way to go, because you only need your own hands. Moreover, the sooner you pull those weeds out, the easier they will be to remove. Some weeds can develop really strong root systems that make them hard to pull out. 

Next, you also want to pull out those weeds as soon as possible to prevent them from spreading their seeds. The longer those weeds grow, the more seats they will spread, and the more weeds will grow afterwards. Time is of the essence here.

Newspaper or Cardboard

When it comes to stopping weeds from growing in the garden, laying down a layer of newspaper or cardboard will work very well. When you are preparing your garden bed for the herbs, you first want to put down your soil, compost, worm castings, and fertilizer. 

You then want to put down a relatively thick layer of newspaper. You can also just put down one layer of cardboard. Both of these materials, whether newspaper or cardboard, will prevent weeds from growing through the soil. 

Even if weeds do grow through the soil, they won’t be able to penetrate the newspaper or cardboard. What’s cool is that you can just create a solid layer of either newspaper or cardboard, and then make holes where your herbs are going to be planted. 

To keep the layer of newspaper or cardboard down, you will want to add a decent layer of mulch on top. This mulch will of course have many other benefits for your herb garden, as we mentioned before.

Using a Layer of Plastic

Another simple way to stop weeds from growing in your garden is to cover it with a plastic tarp. Of course, you can’t cover your herbs with the plastic part because it will kill them too. Here, what you need to do is cover your garden with a plastic tarp for a full month before you plant your herbs. 

Covering the soil with a plastic tarp will not only prevent weeds from growing, but will actually kill most of them off. Yes, you do then need to remove the plastic tarp when you plant your herbs.

How to Stop Weeds in Herb Garden

Boiling Water

If you already have a bunch of weeds in your garden, there is one really easy way to control them. Here, we are talking about boiling a pot of water and then dousing the weeds. The hotter the water is, the better this will work. 

When you pour that boiling water onto the weeds, it is going to kill them. You do need to be careful in terms of what you have around the weeds. That boiling water will kill anything and everything it comes into contact with, and yes, this includes your herb garden.

Vinegar Works Too

Something else that is a very effective weedkiller in a garden is vinegar. Now, you do want to use agricultural vinegar as opposed to household cooking vinegar. Agricultural vinegar is much more acidic than normal vinegar, and therefore works to kill weeds much better. 

Plants simply don’t like vinegar, and it will kill them. Keep in mind that vinegar will also kill your herb garden. This means that you need to be careful when applying the vinegar to the weeds. It is best to find some kind of way to isolate the weed before you spray it with vinegar. 

The vinegar should kill the weeds right down to the roots, although it might take two or three applications to accomplish your goal. A pro tip here is that vinegar generally works best to kill weeds in the sunlight. This is because the combination of vinegar and sunlight will cause those weeds to dehydrate very quickly.

Planting the Herbs in the Right Formation

Planting your herbs in the right formation is something that most people probably don’t think about. However, when it comes to preventing weeds from growing, it is ideal. What you want to do here is to plant your herbs in fairly thick clusters.

The closer together your herbs are planted, the more shade they will throw on the ground below. However, if you plant your herbs in thin rows, there isn’t going to be much shade created by them. Of course, just like your herbs, weeds also need sunlight to grow. 

Therefore, planting your herbs in such a way that they will not allow much sunlight to get on the soil around them is ideal. Figuring out exactly how to plant your herbs to block out most of the sunlight to the soil around them isn’t easy, but it will help a lot.

Proper Watering Technique Helps Too

Just like the herbs in your garden, those weeds need heat, water, and light to grow. If you can limit the amount of water that those weeds get, they won’t grow nearly as fast or as well. 

You want to use some kind of soaker hose or a drip irrigation system to be precise with your watering. You want 100% of the water to get on your herbs, and none of it to get around your herbs. The better you can prevent those weeds from getting watered, the less they will grow.

Some People Use Fire

Although this might seem like a bit of an extreme option, a lot of people actually use fire to kill the weeds. Some people might use something like a propane torch to burn the weeds right out of the garden. There are even special flame weeders out there designed specifically for this task. 

Of course, fire is indiscriminate, and it will kill your herbs too. You, therefore, need to be careful that that fire doesn’t come into contact with your herbs. Furthermore, making sure that everything around the weeds is very well watered and wet is beneficial too. This will help prevent a fire from occurring.

Using Weed Killer 

If all else fails, you can obviously turn into a professional weed-killing product. There are both organic and inorganic weedkillers out there. You do want to pay attention to which one you get, because if you can avoid toxic chemicals, then you are on the right track. 

This is especially the case when it comes to your herb garden, because these are things that you are going to be eating. Therefore, you do really want to avoid putting any kind of poison into your herbs. 

Final Thoughts

Between all of the above herb garden weed control methods, you should be able to find a few that work for you. Yes, everybody’s needs are slightly different, which is something you need to take into account.

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