First, consider whether this can be done using non-chemical means such as digging out or suppressing with mulch. Where these methods are not feasible, chemical controls may need to be used.
The RHS believes that avoiding pests, diseases and weeds by good practice in cultivation methods, cultivar selection, garden hygiene and encouraging or introducing natural enemies, should be the first line of control. If chemical controls are used, they should be used only in a minimal and highly targeted manner.
Hoe off or hand weed seedlings when small. Better still, try to remove dead flower heads regularly to prevent seed dispersal. Other garden plants that can become prolific self-seeders include Anemanthele lessoniana, camassia, chives, fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Nectaroscordum siculum, sisyrinchium and Verbena bonariensis.
Digging out unwanted plants may work for a while, but is only likely to be a temporary solution. Suppression under black plastic or weed membranes is an alternative but again could take several growing seasons to be effective.
Beware putting invasive plants and their seedheads on the compost heap, as this is unlikely to reach a high enough temperature to kill off seeds, tough roots or underground stems (it is all right if they have already been killed off with a weedkiller). Instead, place them in the municipal green waste, as this is composted on an industrial scale, where tough weeds should be killed off. Burning may also be appropriate, but check your local Council guidelines.
For herbaceous weeds, try a programme of spraying using a systemic herbicide containing glyphosate – Roundup Fast Action and SBM Job done General Purpose Weedkiller are common brand names of such products. For woodier plants, choose triclopyr (SBK Brushwood Killer) or glyphosate formulated for stump killing (e.g. SBM Job done Tough Tree Stump Killer, Doff Tree Stump & Tough Weedkiller or Resolva Pro Xtra Tough).
Inclusion of a weedkiller product does not indicate a recommendation or endorsement by the RHS. It is a list of products currently available to the home gardener.
Weedkillers for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining weedkillers available to gardeners; see sections 1a and 4)
Chemicals: using spot and broad-scale weedkillers
Chemicals: using a sprayer
Chemicals: using safely and effectively
Weeds: non-chemical control