If you're about to prep your garden for fall, either to plant your veggies or to retard weed growth, this New York Times article shows you how. Here's a brief excerpt:
First, pluck the weeds; next, lay 4 sheets of newspaper and wet the paper; top off with compost or mulch. If you're installing plants, compost is best; to suppress weeds, lay mulch at least 2" deep.
If you’re starting a new garden the no-till way - which basically means using newspapers to smother the grass and weeds without resorting to herbicides - just add a few inches of compost and plant right through it.
The advantages of not tilling are many. Weed seeds are not brought to the surface of the soil, where they readily sprout and grow. You don’t churn up earthworms and countless other organisms that will aerate and enrich the soil just fine if you feed them compost and leave them alone. And since gas-powered tillers not only pour hydrocarbons into the air, they also release CO2 when they churn up the soil, leaving them in the garage is a good way to minimize your carbon footprint.
When weeds do grow — as they inevitably will, blowing in on the wind, or sprouting from less-than-perfect compost — the article suggests spritzing them, while they are still sprouts, with a homemade solution: a gallon of vinegar mixed with 2 tablespoons canola oil (other oils will gum up) and 1 tablespoon liquid Ivory dish detergent. Spray on a regular basis: 'You have to starve out the roots, so don’t wait and let the weeds get big.' Read article here: