Weeds! I hate them. In general, in sustainable gardens herbicides are not used, there are some organic, but I prefer to use physical measures.
In gardens no correctly managed or abandon for some time, weeds are usually terrible and consume many hours, in more established gardens, well maintained, they are far fewer weeds.
Is essential always to control weeds before they have a chance to grow, flower and produce seeds.
If weeds are few, using a sharp trowel, loosen up the soil around the root and remove the complete weed, it is critical always to take the whole plant with roots and all. If you just cut the part on top of the soil, in 2-3 days the weed will grow again.
If the problem is more widespread (as in the pictures) and you have your garden planted, take out the weeds around your plants using a small tool and then using a large tool turn the rest of the soil around it.
Once the soil is loose, using hand tools, remove the weeds, again the whole plant (root and leaves) and make sure to shake the soil to return it to the bed. Remember that the soil is the most expensive and fragile thing on the bed.
If you decide to use mulch or hay to cover the ground and prevent evaporation and erosion, whatever you use can come contaminated with weed seeds, so my recommendation is to use mulch processed at high temperatures, this is a natural process of decomposition, do not use mulch treated with herbicides because the chemicals will contaminate your soil. Of the grasses-hay, the only thing I recommend is alfalfa bales. These do not bring seeds.
As seen, to grow sustainably is often necessary to cultivate a good and honest relationship with neighbors and suppliers. I use pine needles that I collect in a nursing home where the trees are not sprayed. Or buy mulch from a company that is 100% sustainable.
If you have a raised bed covered on weeds and have nothing sown, just before the start of the hot weather, use an agriculture vinegar spray and cover the soil with a black tarp, secure with stones and let the weeds cook for a couple of weeks. Then remove all the dead weeds, improve the soil with compost and organic fertilizer before planting.
Some of the most common weeds in Houston is the nutgrass, this weed has nuts deep at the root that they interconnect with other nuts, to eradicate from a bed, you must get all the nuts out.