1. Off with their heads. Most of us spend our time nurturing seedlings….but weed seedlings are a very different species. With the first warm spells of spring, hundreds of thousands of weed seeds germinate. I sharpen my hand-held hoe (a scuffle hoe works too…any sharp edge) and one swift run along the ground kills hundreds of baby weed seeds.
2. Invite them to Tea. I take my fancy cordless electric tea kettle that heats water very quickly and automatically shuts off. I slowly pour boiling water over very young weeds (not more than first true leaves) and they die instantly. This is especially good in patio and sidewalk cracks. Boiling water kills big weeds too but takes much more boiling water.
3. Weed-whack em. My trusty weed whacker doesn’t kill weeds for good, but it is very effective at making them disappear. You do have to wear safety glasses for this use. I take the weed-whacker to the garden of giant weeds and whack the weeds directly to the ground. A little soil and debris can fly up, hence the need for safety glasses. After raking up all the weed debris, the job of weeding doesn’t seem so impossible even though I know weeds lurk below the surface.
Extra hint: Are you left-handed? Some of the best garden tools in the world are Japanese and sold by Hida Tool in Berkeley or online. They have left-handed versions of many tools. http://www.hidatool.com/shop/shop.html
Want to really learn about weeds? “The Manual of Weeds” from 1914 is online at Chest of Books http://chestofbooks.com/flora-plants/weeds/Manual-Of-Weeds/index.html proving how long gardeners have been fighting weeds!