I only dig when putting in new plants (many have been produced from cuttings). I weed by running the hoe over ground between shrub plants. This only removes top growth not roots so has to be done fairly often (about once a month).I try not to stand on the soil too much when doing this, but reach out standing on the paths. In herb areas I don't weed at all (don't know how successful this will be in the long term). I mulch about once a year with home produced compost.