How do you prevent weeds in your flower beds? Throughout my year of doing landscape work I have found a few of the most effective ways for weed control.
Flower Beds Treatment
The first thing to do is determine the level of weeds within the flower beds, and what time of the year it is. Usually the most effective way to erradicate the weeds is by treatment. I would recomend organic treatment, you can read about that here. Use some form of weed killer to spray in dense weeds and avoid getting any on plant, shrubs, and flowers. This may require 2-3 more treatments to kill everything but it will work. The next step is to remove any debris left by the dead weeds if any.
Now the good news is that the weeds are gone, but the bad news is that they will be back. It will be best to now add some form of pre-emergent control to the flower beds. Pre-emergents such as Preen will prevent weeds from germinating, killing them before you ever see them.
Next I would consider what is in the flower bed. Here in Louisiana you have to hit weeds from every angle in order to ensure a clean bed. Do you have weed barrier fabric? This is a neusance for many landscapers because it can be difficult to put down, but in the long run it will help tremendously if dont right. Picture leaving a tarp in your front lawn for a few months what happens? In a short time you will have a dead patch of grass beneath the tarp because you have blocked out the grasses need for the sun.
Note: I would not suggest using newspaper as a weed barrier. While it is sort of organic with recycled paper and ink, it does bio degrade back into the earth in a short time. I have weeded a few beds using this technique and after a few months the weeds grow through the paper and cause a big mess when time to clean up.
So now that we have covered the removal of weeds from the bottom, and the treatment of weeds above the weed barrier it is best to protect the soil from the sun even further with mulch. We use premium mulch and lay it thick so that it blocks the sun from getting through to grow weeds. If you do these things you are guarunteed to havbe an easier growing season for the years to come. Weeds are inevitable, but if you stay ahead of them than you win every time!
P.S. When maintaining the landscaping throughout the year it is wise to use a tarp when trimming headges and blow grass clippings away from the flower beds.