If you don't want to spend time spewing chemicals into your topsoil, you need to learn how to process topsoil to eliminate unwanted seeds. Sure, there are products that will process topsoil to kill unwanted seeds, although they need to be applied a couple of times a year. With a little elbow grease, however, you can process topsoil and eliminate unwanted seeds from sprouting in your new garden or lawn.
To Process Topsoil to Eliminate Unwanted Seeds, you will need:
- A mower, scythe, or weed eater, depending on the scale of your job.
- A rotary tiller, shovel, or hoe
- A rake
- Clear or black plastic to cover the area
- Mow, chop or whack down standing weeds and plants. Accomplishing this before the unwanted plants go to seed is ideal. Remove the plants as close to ground level as possible.
- Using a tiller or shovel, turn the soil a few inches deep. Rake the soil, using the rake as a comb to remove the weeds. Then use the rake to smooth out the soil.
- Water the soil thoroughly. Cover the area with plastic. Use blocks or branches to hold the plastic in place.
- Watch the weed seeds germinate under the plastic. Then watch them get cooked to death. In addition to removing weed seeds, this method can remove plant pathogens from the soil.
- Mulch around garden plants to prevent weed growth. Apply a three to six inch layer of mulch such as bark or fresh chunky wood chips. Avoid using anything that contains unwanted seeds, such as yard waste, straw, or hay, unless it has been hotly composted to eliminate unwanted the seeds. Cover crops such as clover can also be used to contain weed growth as well as enrich the soil.