Monty Don: How to weed the garden ‘properly’ to prevent regrowth – ‘very important’

Monty Don gives advice on using a window box for plants

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Gardening expert Monty Don has shared a huge amount of advice throughout his career and is best known for his role on BBC Gardeners’ World. In a short video for Gardeners’ World in May 2019, Monty shared top tips on how to weed “organically” by hand, a job which can be done from January through to December.

Weeding regularly is necessary because weeds compete with plants for water, sunlight and nutrients.

If they get out of hand, the garden can look unsightly and plants may even stop growing.

It’s often a job done in spring to help gardeners prepare their outdoor spaces for the warmer months.

While there are many methods to help remove weeds from the garden, the expert shared how to do so by hand.

Monty explained: “The important thing to realise is a weed is simply a plant in the wrong place.

“So, things you might be quite happy with elsewhere are no good if they’re not working.

“You need an implement of some sort.

“I use a sickle but quite honestly anything will do.”

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Bending down on his knees, Monty began to pull out the weeds that had started growing in the ground.

They included dandelion, nettles and chickweed.

Monty added: “What matters is getting there. 

“Also, it’s a very good way of getting to know your soil, getting to know your plants, it’s very intimate process.”

Using the tool to remove the weed, Monty began by placing the tool under the root of the weed, loosening it by shifting the tool side to side.

Once loosened, the expert pulled the tool up to the surface before removing the weed.

It is very important to make sure the weed has completely gone when pulling it up, otherwise they may begin to grow back.

Monty added that the nettle weed he was pulling up had long roots.

He continued: “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 the lawn, depriving it of light and water.

Gardeners’ World said gardeners should avoid using weed killer as it can prevent the lawn from growing.

They added: “Plantains and dandelions have wide, flat leaves that can smother large areas of lawn and inhibit growth, although they are easy to remove using a hand trowel or daisy grubber.

“Yellow medick, buttercups and clover can also spread quickly through a lawn, so raking before you mow can help to lift them up into the mower blades, weakening and killing them off over time.”

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