What to do about garden weeds

What to do about garden weeds

Sooner or later, every gardener has to get to grips with weeds. Sometimes called ‘plants in the wrong place’, weeds tend to turn up just where we don’t want them in our gardens. They compete with plants for water and nutrients, and can quickly spread and take over in a garden. While it’s never going to be possible to eradicate weeds, there are steps you can take to get them under control, and the first step is to understand how weeds grow.

What is an annual weed?

Annual weeds germinate from seed, grow, flower, set seed, and die all within one year. Because annual plants grow so fast, they can often produce several generations within one year, so it’s vital to deal with them quickly to stop them from spreading. Common annual weeds include:

  • Chickweed
  • Hairy bittercress
  • Petty spurge
  • Cleavers
  • Herb robert

What is a perennial weed?

Perennial weeds die back in winter and reappear in spring using food stored in their roots. As well as spreading by seed, some, like bindweed and enchanter’s nightshade, spread by underground rhizomes (stems). Others, like dandelions and green alkanet, have deep roots that are very hard to dig up, and can regrow from any scrap of heart left in the ground. In short, perennial weeds are a problem! Common perennial plants include:

  • Oxalis (wood sorrel)
  • Dandelion
  • Bindweed
  • Bramble
  • Couch grass
  • Ground elder
  • Horsetail
  • Dock
  • Green alkanet
  • Nettles
  • Enchanter’s nightshade

How to tackle annual weeds

Because annual weeds have such a short lifespan, they don’t develop deep root systems. Annual plants staying on the surface is good news, as it means they’re easy to pull up by the roots. They also can’t grow back if cut off at the root level. The key to tackling annual weeds is to get in early before they set seed. If you’re grabbing a small area, pull up the weeds by hand, using a hand fork to loosen the roots if necessary. For large areas, use a hoe to cut the plants off at ground level. You can add annual weeds to your compost heap.

How to tackle perennial weeds

Digging up perennial plants can feel pointless as they will regrow from any bit of root left in the ground, but it’s still worth doing, as it will eventually exhaust the food stores in their roots. If you want to use weed killer, spot treat individual weeds in borders with a carefully aimed spray gun or use a gel formation like Roundup Gel. (And always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using weed killer!)

Domestic compost heaps don’t get hot enough to kill the roots of perennial weeds, so dispose of these separately – some local councils take perennial weeds in their green waste collections, but check with yours first.

Whatever you need to get your garden looking tip-top, we’ve got it in stock. Contact us now for help and advice on all your garden queries.

You might also be interested in:

The variety of indoor plants is endless and beautiful

Step into the enchanting realm of indoor plants, where the variety is not just abundant but also stunningly beautiful. From lush foliage to vibrant blooms, each plant brings its unique charm, turning our homes into thriving green havens. In this exploration, we'll revel in the endless variety of leaves, the captivating beauty of flowers, and the special properties that make indoor plants not only visually appealing but also fascinating contributors to our living spa...

Read more...
Recognize and prevent pests on indoor plants

In the tranquil realm of indoor plants, a hidden threat can occasionally lurk – pests that have the potential to disrupt the harmonious greenery of our homes. As caretakers of these botanical companions, it's crucial to arm ourselves with knowledge on recognising and preventing pests. In this guide, we'll explore common culprits, understand the signs of infestation, and delve into effective strategies to keep our indoor plants thriving, pest-free, and vibrant.

<...Read more...
Cutting houseplants - Is it really necessary?

In the world of indoor gardening, the topic of cutting or pruning houseplants often raises questions and uncertainties. Do our leafy companions truly benefit from the occasional trim, or is it an unnecessary intervention? In this exploration, we'll unravel the mysteries surrounding cutting houseplants, understanding the reasons behind this practice and discovering the potential benefits it can bring to the health and aesthetics of our indoor greenery.

...

Read more...
Room design with indoor plants for a green jungle

Transforming your living space into a lush green jungle is not just a design choice; it's a commitment to infusing vitality and tranquillity into your home. In this guide, we'll embark on a journey to create a botanical haven within your four walls. From selecting the right plants to arranging them in harmonious clusters, let's explore how room design with indoor plants can turn your home into a vibrant and refreshing oasis.

...

Read more...
Sign up to our newsletter!

Sign up to receive our special offers!

Click here to sign up!