Nature rushes to cover bare soil with persistent, fast-growing plants that we call weeds. Mulch covers open spaces, and discourages weeds. But even with mulch, every garden has weeds. Here are six ways to win the war against them. Weed early and often, and avoid letting weeds bear seeds. If you have trouble telling weeds from flower and veggie seedlings, work with transplants until you become familiar with which ones are the good guys and which are the pests. Pull weeds when the soil is moist. When the soil is dry, use a sharp hoe to slice them off. Avoid growing perennial flowers until spreading perennial weeds such as bindweed and quackgrass are under control. Plant annuals instead. Keep weed seeds from sprouting with preemergence herbicides. These herbicides are most effective in spring. Cover wanted plants with cardboard boxes to protect them from herbicide injury when spraying to control weeds such as poison ivy. Till soil as little as possible, because working the soil pulls weed seeds to the surface. Many weed seeds need light to sprout, so cultivating the soil to get rid of one crop of weeds could encourage another crop.