1. Use a digging fork or tiller to cultivate the soil in the bed you want to plant.
  2. If necessary, work over the bed by hand, using a hand cultivator or trowel to dig out tough perennial weeds and weed roots
  3. Dig or till the bed again, adding any soil amendments (such as compost or bonemeal) that are needed, and rake it smooth.
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To get the jump on weeds in empty garden beds, prepare the bed just as you would for planting—but don't plant it right away! Instead, water it gently for a week or so to encourage weeds to sprout. Then, hoe the weed seedlings and pull perennial weeds by hand. The result: A nearly weed-free, ready-to-plant garden bed.

  1. Water the bed as needed to keep it moist for 7 to 10 days. Weeds should sprout in the bed.
  2. When the bed is covered with weeds that are I lo 1 inches tall, carefully pull out any perennial weeds by hand.
  3. Work the bed lightly with an oscillating or scuffle hoe to cut off weed seedlings just below the soil surface. This will kill the weed seedlings, leaving you a weed-free bed.
  4. Carefully plant the bed with seeds of garden plants. Disturb the soil as little as possible to avoid bringing up any new weed seeds.
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