Tuesday, 27 September 2011

weeding - war of the weeds

Your mission on war of the weeds is essentially to try and stop weeds of any kind spreading their seed.

There is a saying "One years seeding is seven years weeding".

Hand weeding.
First invest in a pair of good garden gloves and use old towel or kneeling mat, to protect the knees.
Get hold of the weed as low as can near the base, weeds tend to be less prickly nearer the ground and just pull.

There are lots of garden tools that can help with your mission too, a garden hoe, use this firstly as a preventive measure, before weeds appear on the surface, do this regularly, ideally when the soil is dry.
When using a  hoe to weed, try to cut the weed from roots below soil.
Small hand tools, trowel, forks, these work well for deep rooted weeds, you can get right in there and dig them out, but be extra careful if you have existing plants near by.

Weeds in your lawn - Turf war
Dig these weeds out with a narrow trowel or weed extractor, have some soil ready to fill in the hole, and if its a rather large hole, take another section of the same size from the a less visible area of the garden and replace it, water this section frequently until it takes, you also replant grass seed in the area.

Organic weed killer
I don't tend use these as they can kill off every plant they come into contact with and interfere with the natural flora of your garden .
If you choose to go down the route of sprays, can also make your own organic weed killer using full strength white distilled vinegar, the acetic acid draws moisture out of the leaf and any other plant it comes into contact with so be warned. There are lots of alternative to chemical weed killer, but as I don't use them in my garden I cant really comment on their effectiveness.

Prevention is better than cure
Cover every piece of bare soil with a something that excludes light, Use coca shells,well rotted horse manure, anything will do the job, including straw, hay shredded bark, permeable plastic, bark, old carpet, or rolls of  white paper mulch. 
Live mulches are a great idea too; use a fast growing short plant, maybe something like thyme.
Grow plants densely together, is another tip.

Stop fighting with nature for the perfect manicured garden. Keep your plants healthy, mulch regulary, weed by hand and remember a weed is but unloved flower.

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