Gardening expert demonstrates how to get rid of weeds
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Weeds are many gardeners’ worst nightmare, especially if they’re perennial weeds with large tap roots. When weeds start to take over, it can be tempting to use chemicals on them. However, this could do more harm than good for the garden and surrounding areas. Different weeds thrive in accordance with their surroundings and can often spread into unwanted locations in the garden. Knowing how to tackle these weeds is only half the battle – understanding how they grow will ensure you are able to keep them away from the garden for longer.
Gardening experts at Lawnmowers Direct have shared some key weeding control tips.
They said: “Only cultivate your soil when necessary, for the most part, it is best to leave it alone.”
Weeds can be annoying and hard to get rid of, and can appear in cracks in the driveway, on patio areas as well as around flower beds and borders.
However, sometimes the best solution is to leave it alone.
The experts added: “Logically, it might seem that using a tiller is an effective way of clearing weeds from the soil – yet this is not the case.
“Even slightly turning the soil will expose dormant seeds to sunlight, prompting weeds to sprout.
“If you notice an abundance of weeds with long taproots such as dandelions – steer clear of using a trowel or gardening tools.”
Using mulch can also help to take control of weeds.
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The gardening experts explained how mulch “makes a good home for carabid beetles and crickets”.
They said: “This is advantageous for your garden, as these insects particularly enjoy eating the seeds of weeds as well as depriving them of light.”
Mulch could be garden compost, dead plant material, wood or bark chipping used to lay over the soil as a covering.
Areas in the garden where gardeners can lay mulch include around spring bulbs, under hedges and around fruit trees or bushes.
However, gardeners should be aware that there will be weed seeds in mulch.
The experts said: “Therefore a two to three inch shallow layer should be enough to block the sunlight to the weeds.
“Note that a heavy layer of mulch is the perfect breeding crowd and home for slugs and snails and can also suffocate your cherished plants.
“Replenish the mulch regularly, as soon as you notice any unwanted sprouting weeds before they take root.”
For a more long term solution, cover the soil’s surface with cardboard or biodegradable fabric and spread mulch over the top.
It could also be worth ensuring plants are tightly packed together to avoid “emerging” weeds.
The experts added: “Tightly planted beds automatically prevent emerging weeds from growing, as the soil between plants is shaded from the sunlight.
“Incorporate this knowledge when you are designing the layout of your garden.”
Bear in mind that plants prone to foliar diseases such as bee balms and phloxes might need their space.
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