How to get rid of weeds: Easy and free method without ‘digging and disrupting soil’

Gardening expert demonstrates how to get rid of weeds

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Weeds are a nightmare problem for gardeners, as as the weather warms, they’ll start popping up here, there and everywhere. Chris Bonnett, founder of GardeningExpress.co.uk revealed one method of weed removal that is incredibly easy – no fancy tools or gadgets are required – and it’s virtually free. 

There are many varieties of weeds, some are so pretty they can be mistaken for wildflowers. 

The general consensus is weeds are a pain – especially when they’re encroaching on flowers or vegetables and sapping the nutrients from the soil. 

In the case of some – Japanese knotweed, poison ivy, stinging nettles – they can also do more harm than simply spoiling the look of a border.

So how do you go about getting rid of weeds? 

There are many products on the market that can chemically remove weeds. 

But for anyone looking for a natural alternative, Chris has a solution. 

Chris explained the ‘no dig method’ for removing weeds. 

“The no dig method is a really great way to make gardening easier when it comes to weeds,” he said. 

“The no dig method essentially allows you to avoid weeds without digging and disrupting the soil – this keeps the it in its purest form.”

By abandoning the traditional approach of digging, the layers of soil remain undisturbed and the hard work of incorporating and processing the organic matter is left to the experts – the earthworms, fungi and bacteria.

Digging disturbs the soil while destroying its structure, disrupting the different layers and agitating the soil life that lives in each one as well as drying out the soil and bringing dormant weed seeds to the surface where they can germinate more readily.

Chris continued: “To get started on this method you’ll need to lay down some cardboard first and add a thick layer of compost on top. 

“Laying down cardboard will prevent you from having to dig up weeds before planting, and once the cardboard has been fully broken down into the compost all of the weeds will be completely covered and you’ll have a fresh new bed ready for planting.

“After that you’ll just need to top up the compost each year to enrich the soil.”

Some gardeners like to water the cardboard before the layer of compost, or after to help it break down. 

Obviously, it’s not going to banish every single weed, but any that do crop up should be removed by hand or using a hoe when they’re still emerging and small. 

Year on year, the numbers will dwindle although it is impossible to be weed-free entirely as seeds blow in from outside or sneak in by hiding in the compost.

Aside from no weeds in your borders, what are the other benefits? 

In some gardening trials, no-dig beds have been shown to produce bigger veg harvests than those that are dug over.

Taking up the no-dig gardening method also means less time spent digging, weeding and watering – perfect for busy growers.

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