Gardening expert on how to keep your garden free of weeds
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There are lots of different ways to deal with weeds, from hoeing to pulling them up. While some may be more time consuming than others, weeding by hand is recommended by experts at Hedges Direct. This is because it is friendlier to the environment and will prevent killing insects. Jamie Shipley, Managing Director at Hedges Direct, said: “The dictionary states that a weed is a ‘wild plant growing where it is not wanted’, so weeds are basically just plants that someone may not want in their garden.
“But, that may be subjective, as many have incredibly pretty flowers and are attractive to bees and other insects, they also come with some ecological benefits.
“Weeds act as a protective barrier to the soil from sunlight, which protects many insects and microscopic creatures, whilst creating a positive environment for them to grow, eat and live.
“There are of course some plants that are classed as invasive species such as Giant Hogweed and of course Japanese Knotweed, which can be extremely destructive ecologically to the detriment of native species.”
However, hours of hard work in the garden can soon be ruined by weeds which can grow anywhere.
Weeds grow on the lawn, on the borders, in the patio as well as the driveway, which can be unsightly.
The expert shared how gardeners can “correctly” weed their garden.
Jamie continued: “Instead of using chemicals and potentially affecting the soil biodiversity, the most friendly approach, where possible, is to dig them out and pop them in the green waste bin.
“Once weeded you can put a mulch or bark chipping down which helps retain the moisture and nutrients in the soil but also keeps light out which helps to suppress weed growth thereafter.”
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Gardeners should also not place weeds in their compost bins as they can set seed and start to grow.
Sharing how to properly weed by hand in 2019, Monty Don recommended using a sickle tool to dig underneath the weed.
Once loosened, Monty then pulled the tool upwards to loosen the root.
After pulling the weed out, it is important to make sure the root has been completely lifted up.
If it hasn’t, it will be able to grow back again and again.
Monty added: “It’s very important to do it now so they don’t seed and they don’t take over.
“The other thing about weeding is to do it a little bit at a time.
“Do one metre properly, and that’s far better than doing 10 metres half-heartedly.”
Weeds can also appear on lawns, and in winter, can be damaging to the grass.
Lawn weeds can also be removed by hand, placing compost to fill the hole it leaves behind.
Sprinkle fresh grass seed over the patch and then water well, keeping it damp until the seed has germinated.
Gardeners’ World recommended using a trowel or long blade to do the job.
Patio and driveway weeds can also be removed in the same way.
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