Gardens in Georgia, known as the "Empire State of the South," sometimes have an empire's worth of weeds. The state's subtropical climate comprises part of the problem, since it's mild winters don't always kill annual weed species. Various cultural practices and management tips can help control and eradicate weeds, whether they're in your Georgia vegetable garden or invading your Georgia lawn.
Don't wait for weeds to sprout. Take proactive measures to stop weeds from germinating by applying a pre-emergent herbicide to successfully break the weed species' life cycle. Apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your land anytime between Feb. 15 to March 5 in southern Georgia, and March 1 to 20 in northern Georgia. Annual weeds typically start germinating after these dates, according to the University of Georgia.
Post-emergent herbicides come in both selective forms, targeting specific weeds without harming desirable vegetation like lawn grass, or nonselective forms that kill all vegetation. The latter is ideal for controlling large swaths of weeds, like in a field or in an area that you want to clear for a vegetable garden. For the optimal herbicide absorption by the weeds, the University of Georgia recommends applying post-emergent chemicals when the outdoor temperature ranges between 60 and 90 degrees F.
A liberal application of mulch in the vegetable garden minimizes the risks of a weed invasion by shading the soil so weed seeds don't germinate and physically covering the dirt to prevent mature weeds from spreading. The University of Georgia recommends piling mulch to a depth of 4 inches. Too little, and the mulch won't adequately block weeds while too much will suffocate the soil and your plants' roots.
Gardeners or farmers with water features or ponds may find weeds not just on their land, but also in their waterways. Prevent weeds by keeping the edges of your pond deeper than 24 inches. Deeper edges prevent most common aquatic weeds from taking root, according to the Southern Regional Aquaculture Center. Limiting water runoff into the pond or water feature also reduces the amount of waterborne nutrients that are present, thereby reducing the weed species' food sources.