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Photo by Valentin Sirbu / Unsplash

After using a weeding hoe, which entails slicing weeds off just below the surface, here are ways you can dispose of them:

  1. Cut and Leave: Let them decompose where they fell. This is the easiest and my primary method.
  2. Hot Piles: Rake them into a pile, mixed with the soil where they were growing. After a month or so, it'll be a rich soil, semi-composted, with all those decomposed weeds, which you can then rake or shovel to mulch the nearest vegetable or flower plant.
  3. Killing Seeds: If they've already gone to seed, you can't do either of the above. You need to soak them in water for awhile or put them in a box or other container for weeks, so the seeds die. If you put them in a box, you can dump the contents into your garden bed after you're convinced the seeds are dead. If you put them into water . . .  (see below).
  4. Weak Fertilizer: Soak the weeds in a bucket of water for a month, then pour the enriched water onto your garden beds or use it to water/fertilize your plants, then throw the mushy weed remnants into the compost or into your beds.
  5. Burn: Put the weeds in a fire pit to dry out then burn them, later spreading the ashes in your beds.
  6. Mini-Compost Tumbler: Soak the weeds for a few days then put them into a five-gallon bucket with spent soil, partially decomposed wood chips, or other low-grade medium, and put a lid on it. Let it cook in the sun. Roll it around every week, then tip it upside down and let it sit until the following week. Eventually (four weeks . . . four months . . . depends on the heat and other factors), the contents are mixed into a rich soil.
  7. Use as Filler: Jam the weeds into big pots and let them decompose for a few weeks, then top the pot with good soil. It's a hassle, and expensive, to fill pots with good soil, so I jam weeds into big pots, all the way to top. After they decompose a bit, I top off the pot with a good planting medium. The plants love the good medium and the nutrients they later plunge their roots into. The problem with this approach is, no matter how hard you jam the weeds into the pot, they will shrink and shrink and shrink, which means you will have to top off the pot with more medium with every new planting. (The decomposition is so severe, I normally top it off two or three times before trying to plant anything in the pot.)