These are nasty things, weeds. There is a reason they are called noxious, whose synonyms include such words as unhealthy, corruptive and detrimental. And yet, the battle goes on… Does anyone ever win the battle against weeds? Only the most diligent and dedicated warriors can, I assure you. Many people assume that applying a nice thick layer of mulch is the solution to all their problems – not so fast! Yes, the mulch blocks the sunlight and it might work in the short term, but those weeds will eventually grow up through – and even with a plastic barrier beneath they will just start taking root in the mulch itself.
In the long term, the best solution to combat the weed problem, at least in the lawn area, is a thick and healthy lawn – it’s another one of life’s “Catch-22’s”, isn’t it? Weed control can vary depending upon the location you are trying to protect or reclaim. In a planting bed mulch is the obvious front line of defense, especially since it has the added benefit of locking in the moisture the the plants and flowers you DO want. But for the lawn areas it becomes a bit more problematic since the best weapons in both the “chemical” and “natural” categories will surely kill the grass as well.
One of the most well-know non-selective chemical weed killers is Round Up and on the natural side of the equation the most effective seems to be vinegar, salt, bleach or boiling water. But for an already established lawn you might prefer to use a chemical application that is specific to the type of weed or group of weeds but will not harm the grass. But this also is not a sure thing as you need to be aware of the appropriate product for your type of weed, the stage of growth of the weed and the particulars for the application, like safety precautions for children and pets or even the chance of rain!
You may not want to hear this but the most effective ways to remove weeds is using good old fashioned elbow grease and pulling them by hand or with a hand tool. Sorry. There is an abundance of different types of weed fighting tools to choose from. So you can try to take the easy way out and use an application of some sort (or call your local Green Thumb guy) or you can roll up your sleeves, get some sun and exercise, and get to work! Good luck in your battle with the weeds.