I live in southern AA County. My question is what is the best way to stop weed growth during the fall and winter months. I spent days getting weeds out of my flower beds and vegetable garden. In my vegetable garden I have chick weed. Should I use a pre-emerigent herbicide, Preen, or Round up? Thank you.
Anne Arundel County Maryland
No chemical controls are recommended. A safe way to remove chickweed in a vegetable garden would be to pull it up or dig it out by hand. It is an annual weed, so it is best to manage it before it flowers and disperses seeds. Using an organic mulch during the growing season on your garden can help to suppress and control annual weeds. Here is our page on weed control in a vegetable garden. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/caring-your-garden
Don't leave the soil bare over the winter. Cover the soil with shredded leaves or some other type of mulch to prevent erosion. Cover crops are preferred, but shredded leaves are a good alternative. Rake leaves into a loose pile and mow over them with a lawnmower to cut them up. They will be much less likely to blow away if they are broken up. They can be worked into the soil next spring or seedlings can be planted through them. The mulch will act as a weed inhibitor.
Take a look at our cover crop page. There you will see information on steps for planting and a selection chart. If this is the first time planting or you want to plant early spring vegetables, look at spring oats. Oats are killed by the first hard freeze, leaving a brown decomposing mat in the spring. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/cover-crops-protect-and-improve-your-soil