How to Stunt Growing Weed Plants


Weed control is an ongoing battle no matter where you live. These pernicious and often invasive plants can take years to die, especially if you don't want to apply a chemical herbicide for fear of contaminating other garden plants. Stunting offers a way to combat weeds gradually through mechanical control. Methods that stunt growing weeds are time intensive but not challenging, and they do not harm the environment. Control weeds as part of a spring or fall garden cleanup and stunt weeds regularly throughout the season.

Step 1

Grasp growing weeds at the base and pull them out of the ground by hand. This works best with small weed plants or shallow-rooted weed plants that will easily come out of the ground. Discard weeds in a garbage bin so they do not cast new seeds into the garden. Hand pull weeds as often as needed to stunt the growth, especially if you don't get all the roots out the first time.

Step 2

Cover a garden bed with a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch to prevent the weed plants from getting sunlight, which will stunt and then kill them. Do this once you've manually removed all weeds from the garden bed by hand pulling; you'll find far fewer weeds in your garden patch since they need to break through the mulch to get sunlight.

Step 3

Mow your lawn then bag and discard the clippings to stunt growing weed plants in your lawn and prevent the plants from dispersing seed. Continue to mow your lawn when you see evidence of more weeds growing; this depletes the root reserve in your weeds. Over time, the weed plants will use up all of their energy and die.

Step 4

Till a field or lawn to stunt all weed plants as a last resort, since this is time-consuming and ruins the ground cover. If you're moving to a new place or have bare land, till to remove the weeds then apply grass seed to grow a healthy lawn over the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Garbage bag
  • Mulch
  • Lawnmower
  • Tiller


  • Rustic Girls: Weed Control Tips
  • North Carolina State University: Ground Cover Management
  • Utah State University: Mechanical Control
Keywords: mechanical weed contol, stunt weed plants, growing weed control

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.