woman weeding a raised garden bed
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Keep Raised Garden Beds Weed-Free With Our Master Gardener's Tips
The battle against wily weeds will never be completely won, but having the right tools in your arsenal will make it much easier for you to keep them out of your raised garden beds.
Some weeds are easy to just pull out by hand, especially if your soil is loose, but for those weeds with dense or deep roots, a hand cultivator and a weeder are indispensable.
A hand cultivator has a sturdy fork on one side and a flat blade on the other. Use the forked side to loosen compacted soil so it's easier to remove stubborn weeds with deep roots.
Use the flat edge to scrape the green tops off weed sprouts to stop them from getting established, then use the forked side to dig them into the soil to decompose.
A hand weeder removes one weed at a time and works well for plants with long tap roots. It has a shaft with a forked end that you insert deep into the soil to uproot weeds.
For raised beds that have been taken over by weeds, instead of pulling each weed by hand, cover the bed with layers of newspaper, brown paper bags, or cardboard and top with mulch.
Any weeds will die, then you can work everything into the soil so it’s ready for planting in late spring. Alternatively, lay the sheet mulch and cut holes where the plants will go.