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Six ways to get rid of weeds

Weeds are here to stay; the seeds arrive in your garden in various ways, by sticking to your shoes, clothes and are carried in by birds and wind. Often just cultivating the soil can bring seeds that have lain dormant for years to the surface where they will germinate. The trick is to keep them to a manageable level.

Mulching is the action of spreading a material around the base of your plants and over bare soil; it acts by smothering the weeds before they emerge. Using organic mulch has so many other benefits to your garden, it adds valuable nutrients to your soil as it decomposes, encourages earthworms and conserves moisture therefore reducing the amount of water you need to give them. The choice of mulching material is wide; the most common forms are bark, compost and pea straw. Newspaper is plentiful and is often applied under a nicer cover like bark, straw is also used but be careful it can bring a few of its own weeds.

Make sure if you are using organic materials that you apply thickly but don’t apply right up to any tree trunks as this can will create moisture build up and cause collar rot.

Weedmat is just another form of mulching, the mat covers the soil the prevent weeds from gaining hold. Weedmat took over from the use of polythene that was the material of choice in the 80’s it lets air light and moisture through. There are two types of weedmat one is a spun fabric which is a heavier form of the now popular recycled shopping bag and the other woven. They do vary greatly in cost and in performance, woven weedmat is the best performer and will last covered for approx 15 years before it starts to tear, spun will give you 4 years before it starts to break down.

Competition by simply out plant them with desirable shrubs and flowers, by doing this you will crowd out light and space giving the weeds less chance of taking hold.

Get them when they are small, use garden hoe on the weeds to lift them out by the roots, 5 minutes on the end of a hose, will save you so much time. By lightly pushing the hoe though the soil you chop them off at the roots when they are young and just leave them there to rot back in to the soil.

Remove the flower heads – If it is the very least you do remove the flowers by pruning or pulling them off, this will stop the plant from producing seed that will fall to the ground, starting the cycle all over again.

Herbicides work in various ways but on the whole they need active green growth to enable the poison to enter the plants system and get to work. There are many sprays on the market so if you are not sure which spray to use take a sample of the weed and come in to Redwoods for identification. Spraying in windy conditions is just wasteful and ineffective, wind can cause spray to drift on to plants you don’t want to kill and give you spotty coverage on the plants you do. Weed killers are not improved by doubling the amount of concentrate and don’t spray within 5 hours of rain, this will reduce the effectiveness of the product used.


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