A weed is simply a plant or abundance of plants in the wrong place. Weeds can be quite attractive, however, the problem comes when they start taking over. Rosebay Willowherb, for example, has some great flower heads but the trouble comes when they set seed and scatter them merrily around your garden!
If you are new to your garden or to gardening, it is a good idea to see your garden through a whole season to see what you like and what you don’t and determine what is a weed.
If you can get your weed out before it sets seed you will save yourself a whole lot of trouble next year. Even if you only have a chance to whip the flower head off in its prime, you are half way there. Of course it is likely to re-grow another the minute you have turned your back!
Mulching is your best friend. This is simply a layer of anything over the soil which will help stop weeds germinating. It has the added bonus of holding moisture in the ground.
The most effective mulches are bark or composted bracken. These work well because they have an open structure which seeds find difficult to germinate in. If the mulch is put on heavy enough the weeds will struggle to fight their way through to find light.
The majority of weeds can be lifted with a trowel. However, if you dig down and find white fleshy roots then beware! When plunging in with your spade, or trowel, you may cut small parts of the root from which the plant can re-grow. Boom! You have just propagated the weed you were so keen to get rid of. Good examples of weeds with fleshy roots are Bindweed, Ground Elder and Rosebay Willowherb
Hoeing is effective on very small seedlings and in very hot weather. Beware of anything more mature as you can simply turn the soil and create a nice seed bed for the seeds to germinate in. Worse still you may still chop the roots into many more propagating pieces
Have to hand a small hand sprayer that is clearly marked “DANGEROUS”. Put some mixed up systemic weed killer in, like ROUND UP. Remove any seed heads then dowse the offending leaves.
Coverage is the name of the game when using chemicals. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a quick squirt will do the trick, a proper dowsing is required.
Taking care not to contaminate any wanted plant leaves.
Lawn Weeds are the Easiest to Eliminate
This is a very clever weed killer. It knows that your grass has a single leaf (monocot) therefore it will kill everything that is not grass (dicot). So be careful you don’t venture off the lawn and catch an overhanging leaf from your border.
Other Monocots include iris, bamboo, orchids and ornamental grasses.
Monocot – strappy leafed plants
Dicot – everything on the planet except monocots!