Getting rid of existing weeds in a raised bed

Asked July 9, 2019, 12:28 PM EDT

We are working with a community garden and inherited a raised bed with a lot of weeds and grass. We have extensively pulled weeds three times with a little pulling in between. A huge amount, with new ones we’ve not seen, come back. Short of getting rid of the soil and putting new in, is there a way to control the weeds? We’d like to clean this bed up. Generally they want to work organically.

Platte County Wyoming

1 Response

Most likely the grass you are pulling is quack grass, which often has rhizomes spreading through the soil. Those rhizomes break off when you pull them and the part that remain in the soil generates new plants. This grass will creep into your garden from the surrounding area, so controlling the grass in the bed and the surrounding area is necessary. Digging will do a better job than pulling. Weed fabric can be used to suppress the weeds. Weed fabric on the ground around the raised bed can be covered with mulch to keep the ground around the bed clean. You could also consider a herbicide application to kill the weeds, and then put down the weed fabric to keep the weeds out.