Should you Weed Before Tilling a Garden

People ask all the time if can I till everything under and not bother to weed the area first.  Even though this would be much easier than having to remove the weeds first it is not the best for establishing a garden bed.

I can tell you from past experience where I did not weed the area before I tilled and now I have to constantly pull up grass that was spread throughout the garden bed.  Now I have a chore every year that could have been avoided by taking the correct steps the first time and weeding the area before I tilled.

If you have a cover crop that was planted to be tilled under then the answer is yes that is fine to do as long as the cover crop has not gone to seed which will create a huge problem for you later.

When you till the weeds into the soil you are spreading the seeds and roots from the weeds throughout the garden.  By doing this you now have created a situation that you will have to go through the garden bed and remove the roots from the weeds and unfortunately, you will not be able to remove the seeds you have spread throughout the area.

The best way to keep the area weed free is to take the time to remove the weeds by hand before you till the soil, this will allow you to get most of the weeds and if you time it right to remove the weeds before they flower and go to seed you will reduce the number of weeds that will come up the next year.

The other option if you have a lot more time to prepare the bed for tilling and to not have to weed the area by hand is to cover the area with several layers of cardboard or plastic.  This process will kill the existing weeds and any seeds that are on or in the soil.  This process can take 6-12 months to truly kill the weeds and prevent them from returning.

Once you have covered the area and waited the appropriate time you can go about your business of tilling in the area.

It is a good idea before tilling the area to get your soil tested in several different locations to determine if you need to amend the soil, and what the Ph of the soil is.

One of the most important ways to get your garden off to a great start is to have the proper soil for them to grow in.  It is also important to know what type of plants you will be growing in the area since not all plants need the same Ph to grow well.

Once you have prepared the garden bed by weeding the area and tilling it you can get started mapping out your garden to be planted.

There are other options as well one of them is the no-till method where you only dig where the plants will be planted, this method is good for raised beds or an area that has great soil that is easily worked.

Should you Weed Before Tilling a Garden?  the best answer is yes unless you have lots of time to wait to kill weeds and the seeds from those weeds.

One of the ways I reduce the amount of weeding I do in the Spring and throughout the year is to cover the area with a thick layer of mulch not only will this prevent weeds from growing it also saves on your water bill preventing the sun from drying out the top layer of soil allowing roots to stay well hydrated.

I hope you found this article to be helpful so that you can prepare your garden bed well for whatever plants you wish to grow.

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