Posts Tagged ‘reduce weeds’

Getting Rid of Weeds

August 22nd, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

weeds-are-a-bane-to-gardeners-but-they-can-be-rid-of-without-using-weedkillers

Weeds are a bane to gardeners. The combination of persistence and resistance makes them so frustrating.

Weeds can employ some pretty underhand tactics to get the better of us – breaking off bits of root that then regrow, throwing up seedheads that blow all around the garden, or sending their roots deep underground to evade capture.

To outwit weeds you’ll need to wage a concerted campaign on several fronts, but it can be done – and without resorting to weedkillers.

Read on or watch the video for tips and tricks on how to win the war on weeds.

The Enemy

There are two types of weeds: annual weeds and perennial weeds.

Annual weeds complete their life cycle – sprouting, flowering and setting seed – in one season. They’re easier to control, but spread quickly by seed.

Perennial weeds continue growing for a number of years but have far-reaching roots, making them harder to control.

tackling-an-overgrown-weed-riddled-garden-can-be-a-daunting-task

Fight Back

Starting with a weedy garden can be intimidating and demoralising.

Begin your campaign to gain back control by cutting or mowing weeds to the ground, then cover with a light-excluding membrane or mulch to deprive the weeds beneath of life-sustaining sunlight. Black polythene is very effective for this.

Alternatively, you can use pieces of cardboard. Remove any staples or tape, then position the cardboard so there is a wide overlap between each piece to make it harder for weeds to push through. Weigh the cardboard down to stop it blowing away. You will probably need to replace the cardboard as it rots down.

Perennial weeds with deep or spreading roots including bindweed, ground elder and nettles can take a year or more to die off but all those weeds will eventually rot down, helping to feed the soil for the plants that follow.

Remain Vigilant

With the ground cleared, it’s important to act quickly to remove any resurfacing weeds.

Carefully dig out the resurgents with a trowel or fork, taking care to remove all of the roots. Fragments of perennial weeds can easily re-root and spread, so dispose of the root away from your compost heap.

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Sink Them

Another option is to submerge roots in a bucket of water for at least a month, until they turn into a sloppy ‘goo’ which can then be poured over your compost.

Zero Tolerance

Tackle recently germinated weeds in existing beds by disturbing the surface of the ground as soon as they appear. Use a sharp hoe to skim the surface and dislodge the seedlings.

Do this in the morning if possible, and on a windy or sunny day, so that the exposed seedlings quickly wither. Regularly sharpen your hoe so that the blade slices through the weeds like a knife.

Act fast – a little effort now will save you considerable trouble later on! Revisit growing areas once a week to remove young seedlings before they’ve had a chance to establish.

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Quell the Uprising

The adage ‘one year’s seeding makes seven years weeding’ is very true!

Prolific weeds such as dandelion quickly spread if they’re allowed to produce seeds, so always aim to remove weeds before they get a chance to flower and set seed.

Keep on Top of ’Em

Organic mulches like compost and leafmould help to suppress weeds while feeding the soil for the crops you’re growing. Lay them around existing crops to give them an advantage over the yet-to-emerge weeds beneath. Mulching like this also means you can adopt a no-till method of gardening. By sowing and planting into this top layer of compost there’ll be no need to disturb the soil below, so the weed seeds within it will never reach the surface to germinate.

Organic-mulch-suppresses-weeds-while-feeding-the-soil-for-the-crops-youre-growing

Ground Resistance

Resistance is far from futile!

Consider covering bare soil with a cover crop or green manure to crowd out weeds and add valuable organic material. Fast growers like mustards may be sown as late as Autumn to cover the soil surface in a matter of weeks. Weeds won’t get a look in! Then, just before the new growing season, dig them in or pull them out to reveal clear soil ready for planting.

Intensive cropping using leafy vegetables to stop light from reaching the ground is another efficient way to clean the soil of weeds. Potatoes, for example, have masses of lush foliage that are great at excluding light.

Every gardener should aim to keep soil covered as much as possible, whether through efficient use of space with multiple crops grown side by side, or with generous layers of organic mulch or a temporary cover crop to nourish and protect the soil.

Peace Treaty

Peace at last! Once your garden is clear of weeds, you’ll want to keep it that way.

Check new plants for lurking weeds like creeping buttercup, and check that any bought-in manure or compost is well rotted and free of weed seeds too.

Keep compost heaps and potting mixes covered to prevent blown in seeds from settling, and maintain clean tools and boots to minimise the spread of weeds.

If you have any tips or tricks for doing battle with a weedy, jungle-like garden, comment below or head over to our Facebook and Twitter page.

Use Mulch to Reduce Weeds, Save Water & Feed Your Plants [video]

July 27th, 2016 | The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

mulchOrganic mulches are essential for a healthy, productive vegetable garden, locking in soil moisture, suppressing weeds and feeding plants as they rot down. There are lots of different materials that work well as organic mulch. Mulching is a great way to use up garden trimmings such as shredded prunings and grass clippings for instance. This video will outline how to use mulch in your garden to best effect.

Once you’ve established your vegetables you’ll need to do three things; keep them well weeded, well hydrated and give them plenty of nutrients. Mulch can assist with all of these areas for gardening success.

  • Organic mulches block light from reaching the soil, so they dramatically reduce weed growth. Therefore, saving time spent weeding your plants.
  • Mulches protect the soil from the compacting affects of heavy rain, whilst keeping soil moisture locked in for longer.
  • Organic mulches help to feed the soil as it rots down. Improving conditions of earthworms which will eventually improve the soils structure. This will then improve plant growth.
  • Mulches also attract garden predators, keeping insect pests under control.
  • Before laying a mulch, remove any perennial weeds.
  • In dry weather, thoroughly water the ground before laying any mulch.
  • Bare soil can be mulched as protection from weathers.

These are just a few tips on mulching, the video below shares more advice on mulching your garden. Leave any comments for any tips you may have.

How to Use Mulch to Reduce Weeds, Save Water & Feed Your Plants