Weeds crop up everywhere in your garden, they are almost completely unavoidable. Not only are they troublesome to remove, but they deter from the perfectly cared for garden you are busy creating. With all this rain we’ve been having, chances are your gardens have been ambushed by these pesky weeds… but don’t worry, there are a few ways you can successfully weed control!
What are weeds?
A weed is simply a plant growing where it’s not wanted. After all, one person’s wildflower is another person’s weed. There are your usual suspects; dandelions, thistles, crabgrass and chickweed. But just what makes these, and others, such effective nuisances?
Weeds are naturally gifted with characteristics that let them spread easily. These are;
- Generous seed production
- Rapid germination and establishment
- Seeds that remain dormant for long periods of time
- Ability to grow in areas of high footfall
Weeds compete with grass and garden plants for space, light, water and soil nutrients. Not only do they look bad and have the ability to take over quickly, but they’re also the perfect hosts for disease and insects. Before you know it, one weed can turn into many little thieves robbing your plants of their health.
So, how do we prevent and remove them?
Create a weed control schedule
The best way to control your weeds is by creating a schedule and sticking to it. It may seem endless, but consistently weeding your garden will pay off. For every weed removed before it goes to seed, you effectively eliminate hundreds of its offspring.
The perfect time for weeding is while the soil is moist and plants are young. Gently pull weeds at their base (make sure you disturb as little soil as possible). If you encounter difficult roots, insert a sharp knife into the ground to sever the weed from its roots without disturbing the ground around it.
Mulch is your friend
Mulch is truly a gardening essential! Some examples of effective mulch include bark, pine needles, grass clippings, shredded leaves or straw. An effective and natural option to prevent weeds from taking over, mulch helps retain moisture and smothers any small weeds, creating an unfriendly environment for any newcomers to grow.
It’s important that you choose the right mulch. Non-organic options like landscaping fabric and plastic last much longer, but they don’t break down to create a healthy soil environment like an organic, natural mulch will.
Don’t use chemicals as weed control
It’s easy to reach for the weedkiller when the unsavoury weeds appear in your garden. Not only is this weed killer killing your garden, but it’s making it harder for you to grow things in the future too. Chemical-based weed killers may solve your problems in the short term, but will stunt the growth of your garden entirely, and will cost far more in the long term.
There are many kinder, eco-friendly but equally effective ways to remove weeds without the use of herbicides.
Boiling water: Spot pouring boiling water right onto the root of a weed will also kill it. This method is ideal for weeds growing on flooring like sidewalks and driveways.
Salt: Pure salt dehydrates plant leaves and sabotages the proper moisture intake of the weed’s root system. Utilise this method carefully as water and salt solutions can be deadly for regular plants as much as for weeds.
Vinegar and Lemon: What do these ingredients have in common? They both have high acidity levels. Combine them and you’ve got yourself a natural herbicide that kills first and asks questions later.
Fire: A propane torch is probably the best natural herbicide you can get. Do be careful with this method though as you don’t want to burn your “good” plants in the process.
A note from us here at Rosewood
Naturally, we spend a lot of time in gardens at all times of the year, so we have quite a few run-ins with pesky weed invaders! We understand how frustrating it can be to see them pop up time and time again. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to some of the methods we’ve outlined above, why not enlist the help of our professional team to tackle the weeds for you? We cover everything from a one-off garden clearance, to fencing, lawn care and flower planting. Please do get in touch with us to find out how we can help you with weed control. Alternatively, you can keep up with our work on our Instagram and Facebook pages.