To avoid some of your worst spring weeds, there are a couple of things you can do right now during the winter months.

Even better, you can use these techniques in both cold or mild climates.

For Cold Weather Climates

Believe it or not, weeds are busy during the winter months, and their roots and seeds are just waiting for the warm weather.

Now even in very cold climates, in February and March there is often a warm day that comes along that can be around 50° or 55°F (10° to 13°C).

Now even though it can be too cold to be able to dig into the soil and plant anything, the top one inch (2.5 cm) of soil is thawed and can be worked. Now is the perfect time to do some weeding.

During the winter months many cool season weeds like common chickweed or henbit are small and not rooted very deeply, so they are easy to pull up and get the entire plant out.

Getting the weeds now while they are small, is very fast and easy to do, and it avoids a huge mess in the spring when the weeds have a foot hold.

For Warm, Mild Climates

Now if you live in a warmer climate, the best way to avoid spring weed problems is a two step process.

1. Dig and rake your seed or planter beds, or wherever you plan on doing some planting, and then either wait for winter rain, or water the area in.

2. When the weeds come up and are about 1/2 inch tall (1.25 cm) use a rake or a swivel hoe across the bed to kill the weeds. Be careful not to dig into the soil too deeply. Work a very shallow area, just enough to disrupt the weed’s roots and kill them.

If your planting bed sprouted a ton of weeds, wait another week or two and then rake or swivel hoe it again when the next batch of weeds comes up.

After this second time, now is a good time to sow your seeds or do some planting.

What You Want To Avoid 

What you don’t want to do, is work a planting bed, till the soil, etc., and then immediately plant. The problem with this scenario is that you have just turned up a bunch of weeds seeds.

So instead of fighting them, let them germinate and grow a bit and then kill them while they are small and easily dealt with.

By following these techniques, you will be enjoying your spring gardening much more because you won’t have to battle nearly as many weeds as you have in the past.

source:  Weekend Gardener