How To Control Weeds
How To Control Weeds
Weeds are something that trouble every gardener in the world. They compete with crops for light, water and nutrients, and can host pests. Stella Fear of Holland Park is going to show us how to keep weeds under control
Step 1: You will need
- A fork
- A hoe
- A trowel
- Weed membrane
- Chipped bark
- Weed killer
Step 2: Physical controls
Perennial weeds are ones that live from year to year and usually have fairly extensive roots. Examples include nettles, brambles, and thistles.
Weed control starts with winter digging, before the first crops are grown. Cut down any woody perennials and dig out their roots as thoroughly as possible. Burn or remove the plants from the site entirely, and never make compost from them.
Annual weeds complete their life cycle in a single season, perhaps a number of times over, meaning they constantly re-appear.
To remove annuals swiftly from larger areas you must use a hoe. Ensure that your hoe is sharp so that the plant is severed from the root rather than just pulled along.
If possible choose a dry day so the weeds wilt quickly once hoed. Try and keep the hoe in the upper surface of the soil so as not to drag up more seeds to germinate.
If you wish to be more thorough, such as in an ornamental plot, use a trowel, coming in at the side of individual weeds to loosen, and then pulling up gently.
Step 3: Cultural control
The best way to combat weeds with mulching is to combine an artificial membrane with an organic one.
Buy some weed membrane from a garden centre, and cut it to the size of your plot. Cover this with plenty of bark chips, or other organic mulch, to create a complete physical barrier to weed that keeps the soil warm, moist, and looks attractive. You can cut holes into the membrane so that you can still plant into the bed.
Step 4: Chemical control
Most professionals would discourage using chemicals to de-weed your garden, but it can be useful for in between paving. A product such as Round Up will kill any plant, so ensure you apply it directly to the weed and nothing else. Choose a still day to prevent any drift of the chemical. This should leave your hard standing features weed free.