Three things are guaranteed in the life of a gardener: death, taxes, and weed control. Like it or not, the war against weeds is a never-ending one and can occupy a huge amount of lawn-care time. As the summer months wind down, here are a few tips to curb the weeding quota and get you back to enjoying your beautiful lawn.

Here is a terrifying thought; every square inch of your soil is populated with weed seeds! Fortunately, only seeds in the very top inch or so will ever get enough light to encourage germination. One useful method to keep them dormant is a healthy layer of mulch. A 2-inch layer of organic mulch will keep light from reaching those weed seeds while also keeping the soil cool, encouraging plant growth. For the healthiest garden, replace the mulch periodically to keep the soil fresh and seed-free.

Pulling out weeds incorrectly can often do more harm than good. One of the most important rules of weed control is to avoid leaving any roots behind. Yanking off leaves or breaking them at the root will encourage weeds to grow back. Save yourself some re-weeding by attacking them when the ground is wet. Moist soil allows weeds to slide out easily while reducing the risk of leaving behind the root. If there’s no rain in sight, start watering!

If you can’t completely remove a weed, your best option is a good old-fashioned beheading. Pruning annual weeds will prevent them from reseeding while forcing them to exhaust their supply of root buds. For those daunting weeds, get yourself a pair of pruning loppers and start chopping heads.

Your garden or lawn is a battlefield. Stay one step ahead of the enemy with these helpful weed control tips and get back to the real joys of lawn-care.