I have been having a losing battle with cattails for the past couple years. This was what was lurking under my snow peas after I pulled them out. The problem with cattails is they do not emerge until the temperatures increase and given their broad root structure trying to remove them will most likely kill the plants (in this case peas) surrounding them.
If you attempt to pull cattails not only will you not kill them but this disturbance will actually encourage more growth. There are a couple of techniques to stop these evils weeds, first is instead of pulling them cut them at the base, second it to shade them. I decided to attack these weeds using both techniques.
Step 1: Chop weeds to their base. I used some scissors to cut down all of the cattails at their base.
Step 2: Covered the weeds. I used black plastic to smother the weeds. Not only will this smother the weeds but also bake the soil to kill any bacteria/fungus (or any other weed seeds) to hopefully end up with a moderately sterile soil when I plant next year.
Not to waste any of my very limited space in my garden, I moved my peppers and one tomato plants to this location.