How Do I Suppress Weed Growth in Flower Beds?


If you have ever grown flowers in your yard, you are familiar with the intimidating task of weed removal. Weeds are aggressive, hardy plants that thrive in many areas and often take over vegetable gardens and flowerbeds. Proper flowerbed preparation decreases the need for regular weeding and suppresses many types of weeds in landscape plantings. Although certain types of chemical herbicides remove existing weeds from flowerbeds, early weed suppression eliminates many varieties of weeds before they establish themselves in flowerbeds.

Step 1

Dig up all existing vegetation from your selected site. Do not allow existing plants to produce seeds before removing from your planting site. Pull out all shrubs and plants by the base to remove entire root sections. Remove sod with a garden shovel. Cut through the grass down to the roots and pull away sections from the underlying top soil. Water soil and wait two weeks to allow resting weed seeds time to germinate. Remove these newly germinated seeds by raking them from the upper surface of the top soil.

Step 2

Place a transparent sheet of heavy plastic over your flower bed site. Lay rocks around the edges to hold in place. Keep the plastic sheet on your soil for a couple of months to heat and destroy underlying weed seeds. Remove clear plastic before planting your flowers in the bed. Loosen the flowerbed soil with a garden shovel and rake, creating a smooth surface for your flowers.

Step 3

Plant your flowering plants in the soil. Lay a heavy sheet of landscaping fabric over the soil. Slit small holes for each plant to poke through the fabric. Alternately, cut the fabric into small strips and lay between and around planted flowers. Overlap sections to keep weeds from working their way through. Pin down the plastic with rocks laid near the edges. Cover with a few inches of bark, wood chips or decorative rock.

Step 4

Pull weeds as they appear in your flowerbed. Look for small sprouts poking through the landscaping fabric near the base of flower plants. Pull these while they are immature to avoid damaging nearby flowering plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shovel
  • Clear plastic sheeting
  • Garden rake
  • Landscaping fabric
  • Bark, wood chips or landscaping rocks


  • Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides: Managing Weeds in Shrub and Flower Beds
  • North Carolina State University: Weed Management in Annual Color Beds
Keywords: flowerbed preparation, suppress weeds, remove weeds

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.