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Whether your garden covers an expanse of flowers, bushes and other greenery around your house, or whether you just have visions of tending a small vegetable patch in the back yard, you’ll want to focus on what you actually want to grow and not what tends to sprout out of nowhere — that would be those pesky weeds!

Fight back against weeds this gardening season by employing these strategies:

 Weed when wet.  Damp soil allows you to pull out the full weed, including the roots, much easier. Keep a small hoe on hand to help loosen the soil and get as much of the weed out as possible. Weed thoroughly before you start planting, then maintain the weeding often as the season goes on.

 Be a bad weed host.  Discourage the growth of new weeds by holding back on what helps them flourish, namely light and water. After clearing the weeds, plant your flowers and vegetables close together so they form a natural light barrier as they mature, and in the meantime fill in the space between the plants with mulch.

 Choose the right mulch, and the right amount of it.  Mulch helps to prevent weeds by blocking out the light, but you need to choose the right mulch. First of all, ensure you choose a high quality, finely shredded, weed-free mulch. If you like the look of the chunkier mulch, keep in mind that it can let light in so consider putting down two to three inches of the finely-shredded mulch first, to smother the weeds, then topping it with the chunkier mulch to create the esthetic you prefer.

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