The best way to deal with weeds!
A friend asked me, "what is the best way to deal with weeds?"
I've tried lots of different things. Newspaper, mulch, raised beds, in-ground beds, tilling, hoeing, etc.
My advice was pretty short:
Make the garden small enough that you can weed it.
If the garden is too large, then I have not found a way to weed it back. Once the garden gets out of control, it will stay out of control.
You can use methods like a thick layer of mulch on top of cardboard (that works!), hoeing weekly (that works too!), and raised beds (that really works!). Gardens have weeds though. There is no way around it. All you can do is manage your planning and have a garden that is the right size for your life. If you have a job, kids, dog, hobbies, or health issues, then you have to plan for what you can manage.
Last year, I grew my in-ground garden where I grow watermelon, corn, okra, dry beans, pumpkins, and squash. I only had enough time to weed one half of it. That half stayed clear. Every time, I went up to the garden, I planned on weeding the whole thing. I ran out of steam and time when I was halfway through.
It hurt my pride this Fall to say, I can't grow a garden that big anymore. It was too much, so I need to plant half as much.
Our garden at home was in raised beds and was easy to keep weeded. It took just a few minutes a week to do, so we kept it clear and enjoyed it a lot more.
That's my advice for everyone. Plant what you have time to weed and you will enjoy the garden a lot more. A garden under control doesn't feel so overwhelming.