killing weeds in a garden

Asked January 6, 2019, 4:46 PM EST

how do I prepare the ground for a spring garden? In particular, I want to kill the weeds in an overgrown area but I do NOT want to use weedkiller, chemicals, or "Roundup".

Montgomery County Maryland soil weeds t2 leaf gro retailers

3 Responses

To kill weeds and prepare the ground for a garden area, you can lay down many layers of folded newspapers or cardboard and cover it with at least three inches of soil. The grass will die while the newspaper or cardboard slowly dissolves into the soil. To plant flowers or shrubs, just dig a hole through the newspapers and plant. See our brief video about no-till gardening.

You will find additional information on soil preparation here on our website:


a few followup questions:
1) where do I buy bulk "soil" that is safe for vegetable gardening? Is this topsoil? Or leafgro?
2) are newspapers safe for vegetable gardening?
thank you

You can find large quantity soil for sale through larger garden centers and some landscapers. Topsoil is safe, but can vary greatly and is not regulated. It is also mostly mineral, which you already have.
Leaf Gro is recommended, though more expensive. You could consider a 70 / 30 ratio of topsoil to Leaf Gro.
Locally made Leaf Gro can be found in both bulk and retail, and you can see who carries it near you here: by clicking on the county links.
Yes, newspapers are safe for gardening. Leave out the glossy colored paper.