Cultivation, in the form of hoeing, raking, or otherwise "shaking up" the soil, is one of the most effective methods of weed control. While it has been somewhat outmoded in many regions in favor of applied mulches, cultivation achieves many of the same goals.
- Cultivation, when done well, uproots young weeds and badly damages perennial weeds.
- By shaking up the top layer of soil, cultivation effectively creates a mulch.
- Over time, cultivation creates a "stale seed bed", as the seed bank is exhausted
The major problem is that cultivation does oxygenate the top layer of soil, causing the organic matter to degrade faster.