When using a paint pad, apply the paint with long, straight strokes, all in the same direction. Do not pull the pad back over the painted area. Also, be aware that paint pads have a tendency to leave lap marks if you do not feather the paint carefully where one stroke meets another.
Cultivate by hoeing to break up soil crusts and control weeds. Shallow rooted annuals are injured by deep, vigorous cultivation. Hoeing should be very shallow to cut weeds off just below the soil surface. As the annuals fill in, hand weeding may be the only practical alternative. Chemical weed preventers are available but they have a short life and must be reapplied. Most chemicals labeled for flowers do not give control of difficult perennial weeds.