Methods of Weed Control in Water Conserving Landscapes

Nothing sucks the fun out of gardening quite like weeds.  They can be persistent, hard to kill, and may even have thorns or toxic properties.

What else can be said for something that stands between you and your hammock on a quiet summer Saturday?

Fighting them is hard work and often discouraging, especially when they come roaring back a few days after they were removed.

Many of the techniques used for water conservation in landscapes also help control weeds. These include:

  • Applying water to desirable plants through controlled irrigation
  • Using mulch to reduce water loss and suppress weed seed germination
  • Selecting and planting plants adapted to the climate and environment (Note that this may not work if weeds are already present)
  • Using weed barrier fabrics under mulches can further reduce weeds (Note that weed barrier fabric does little to control perennial weeds)
  • Using high quality water in drip irrigation systems
Drip emitter
Limiting weeds through controlled irrigation. Photo source: Joby Elliott Flickr CC BY 2.0
Weed barrier fabric placed around shrubs
Weed barrier fabric placed around shrubs Photo credit: Beachbums3 Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Using the techniques that encourage water conservation can also help reduce weed problems. In turn, this makes gardening more fun and saves water through the initial conservation method and by preventing weeds from using it.

Additional Resources:


Utah – Common Weeds of the Yard and Garden: A guidebook

New USU Extension Fact sheet on Managing Field Bindweed – Take Two!


Weed Control Guide