Gardening newbie - advice required please

I have a small (15 ft by 15 ft approx) upper terrace in my back garden which is currently completely covered with weeds.
My plan is to make the area useable by next spring. I'm not sure exactly yet what I'm going to do with it - I want to keep it reasonably maintenance free, although I definitely want an area to grow vegetables.
The area was cleared by the previous owners before I moved to my new home, but the weeds have returned with a vengance. What can I do to ensure that the weeds don't come back, and when is the best time to take any action?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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There is nothing you can do to prevent weeds from coming back. They will keep returning year after year. Even if you somehow killed all the seeds now in the ground, more seeds would blow in or be brought by animals. What gardeners do is keep weeds under control, stop them from becoming large and numerous and taking over the plot.
5 different ways to control your weeds are 1. Pull them all up, repeatedly. 2. Dig the area frequently. 3. Spray with something like glyphosate (Round Up). 4. Cover the area with something that blocks light, like thick newpapers or opaque plastic or a thick layer of grass clippings. 5. Plant something even more dominating than your weeds.
After a few years of gardening the number of weed seeds ready to sprout will diminish, and you will have fewer each year.

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Alan) wrote in message

Depending on how long the growing season is, you can cover with cardboard or newspapers now, or you can do it next year before growth resumes. either way, when you are ready to plant something else, plant it through the newspapers.
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A thick layer of mulch works well. It won't stop weeds that are already seeded, but after a few months of pulling them, the number of weeds will decrease. You can pull the mulch aside to plant your vegetables.
Alan wrote:

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