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Beginners guide to weed control

Weeds… every gardener’s nemesis! They seem to grow in every crack and crevice, popping up overnight and taking over precious plants. Dealing with weeds can be incredibly frustrating, so how can you successfully conquer your weed control? Let’s take a look at our latest blog. 

Identifying weeds

There are all kinds of weeds lurking in our gardens and sowing seed wherever they get the chance. In the case of some (Japanese knotweed, poison ivy, stinging nettles – we’re looking at you) they can also do more harm than simply spoiling the look of your garden. Everyone knows about the nasty reactions that occur from a run-in with nettles or poison ivy, whilst knotweed can tear through structural foundations at speed. Naturally, none are ideal. 

Luckily, there are a good few methods to rid these plants from our gardens, and most don’t require reaching for the bottle of chemicals.

Dig them up by the roots 

One of the most traditional forms of weed control, but definitely effective. Using a garden fork or hand trowel, gently lever the weeds from the soil, making sure you remove the entire root system to avoid future growth. (this is easier said than done, just do the best you can!) 

This method is ideal if you have weeds dotted around your garden, but if your lawn is full of them it may be easier to invest in a weed pulling tool to do most of the hard work for you. 

Undertake weed control after the rain 

Weeds can be easily pulled from wet soil, so make sure to pull just after some rain or give them a quick water and let it settle before you tackle them. 

In dry weather conditions, however, hoeing is kinder on the back and knees and just as efficient. Hoe just below the surface of the soil and leave the weeds to dry and die in the sun. If you do hoe in the rain, then pick up the weeds to prevent them from re-rooting. 

Keep on top of mulching

If you haven’t done it before, mulching might sound like a complicated garden procedure but, it’s a very simple concept. All it is is adding a protective top layer to your soil, that helps to suppress weeds and protect your plants from the elements. 

Biodegradable mulches, such as garden compost, wood chippings, processed bark, leafmould, straw, and rotted manure all suppress weeds while also releasing essential nutrients back into the soil, helping your plants to flourish. 

Mow your lawn

Battling with a weedy lawn? Frequent mowing is a good way to deter them. It weakens the plants and stops them from setting seed, which can eventually get rid of them altogether. 

Just make sure you attach a basket to your mower, rather than leaving the clippings on the grass. This can spread the seeds around, escalating the problem. Once your lawn is weed-free, you can remove the basket and leave the clippings on the ground, which will act as a natural fertilizer.

As a last resort, use a herbicide

Chemical herbicides have negative effects on wildlife in your garden and are certainly out if you’re following an organic gardening approach. But, if you’ve tried absolutely everything else and are on the verge of giving up, then they can be an effective last resort.

You have two options. One is a targeted formula that you apply to the leaves to destroy the weed from the top down. This is ideal if you only have a few weeds. Alternatively, if your problem is more widespread, you can use a solution that is sprayed onto the plants. 

Enlist the help of weed control professionals 

If your garden has gone too far and needs a team of people to tackle the pesky weeds, the team here at Rosewood can help! From garden clearances to regular weed control, prevention and weed removal, we can help. To get your garden weed-free and looking its best in time for the warmer weather, please give our team a call on 07393 821797 or email us at info@rosewoodgardenmaintenance.com.