The Best Way to Control Weeds in Your Garden

If only gardening required a little less weeding you could spend more time enjoying all the hard work you did planting. Turns out, you can! We list our favorite ways to prevent weeds in the garden, so you can have more time to tackle those awesome garden projects on your to-do list.

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The best way to preventing weeds in the garden is to not let them take root. Iowa State University found that by applying corn gluten meal (with 60% protein) to the surface of soil inhibits root formation in newly germinating weed seeds. Examples of organic weed control using corn gluten are Bradfield Organics Luscious Lawn Corn Gluten and Bonide Maize Weed Preventer. To best utilize this product, follow the below tips on use:

  • Apply before seeds germinate. 
  • Apply when conditions are dry.
  • Apply in Spring and Fall.

Not only does the corn gluten meal disrupt the weeds from rooting, it will also feed your existing plants with nitrogen. Just take precaution not to use around freshly planted seeds or growing seedlings, and follow the instructions given by the manufacturer.


A technique that our own gardening staff at Proven Winners is fond of for weed control is crowding. The simple idea is that if you have enough plants in an area, you don't leave room for any weeds! This technique may take a few extra Proven Winners plants and time spent planting, but later in the season you save time spent on weeding and you get the added benefit of a full, lush, beautiful garden bed. You can achieve this with either perennial and annual plants that are simply planted slightly closer than the recommended spacing on the plant tag.


Did you know you can simply cover up your weeds to encourage weed control? This eliminates the need for weed removal since they simply cannot grow. You can use newspaper or cardboard to cover them. This thick layer is an excellent weed inhibitor and will keep the sunlight from germinating weed seeds. Try recycling your old newspapers or a Proven Winners Direct box in your garden next time you need to suppress the weeds in your garden bed. For best results, follow these steps:

  1. Place a few sheets of newspaper on an area you want to cover.
  2. Make sure your newspapers overlap on the edges.
  3. Use garden staples or a rock to weigh down and keep in place.
  4. Water newspaper to adhere to soil.
  5. Cover with your favorite mulch and water again.

Happy gardening! 🌿

Want more ideas and tips? Check out our blog here!