‘Strictly no weedkiller’: British gardener uses ‘attractive plants’ to suppress weeds

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An organic gardener has shared the clever way she uses other plants to kill weeds, avoiding the need for harsh chemicals. Sharon, who runs @beforeandaftergarden, shares her flower growing tips and tricks online and is an organic kitchen gardener. She uses two plants in her flower beds to keep weeds down and, also, improve the look of the garden.

Sharon told Express.co.uk: “The garden is chemical free so it’s strictly no weedkiller here (even on the gravel drive!).”

She uses plants that are thick and low to the ground to help smother weeds and prevent their growth.

The gardener went on: “In the borders, I have opted for attractive ground cover plants which are excellent for suppressing weeds.

“One of my favourites is Persicaria ‘Darjeeling Red’. We also have lots of alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle) which smothers weeds really well – plus, it has the added benefit of looking amazing in cut flower arrangements!”

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A post shared by Sharon~Before & After Garden (@beforeandaftergarden)

Persicaria ‘Darjeeling Red’ is a low-spreading plant perfect for covering ground in your garden.

Also known as East Indian knotweed, the plant has green leaves which turn brown in the autumn.

They boast pink flowers growing in pretty spikes.

Alchemilla mollis, on the other hand, is a plant that grows in clumps. It has small, bright yellow flowers, growing in sprays.

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However, Sharon does remove some weeds. She said: “Inevitably, I do end up removing weeds by hand too.

“However, I feel it’s a small price to pay for protecting the eco-system of the garden.”

Chemical-free weed killing methods


Mulching is laying down organic matter, around five centimetres thick, on flowerbeds. The method has the dual benefits of enriching the soil and smothering weeds.


Elbow grease, the old-fashioned way, is still effective. Use a trowel to loosen the roots and pull them out.

Boiling water

This is more appropriate for weeds on the patio, as boiling water will damage the roots of other plants you want in your garden. Pour boiling water over weeds between paving stones to destroy the rooms.


Salt will dry out the root of the plant. Make a mixture of saltwater and spray it onto weeds.


This works similarly to salt. Make a mixture of water and vinegar and spray it onto weeds.

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Another British gardener Nicole told Express.co.uk her “best strategy” for weeds. 

The Peterborough-based cut flower grower, allotmenteer, and dahlia queen said she keeps on top of weeds “little and often”.

Nicole said: “To keep on top of weeds in general, the best strategy I have found is to weed little and often to keep on top of them before they take over.”

Nicole incorporates a tool into her downtime in the garden, killing two birds with one stone.

Nicole said: “I like to use a hoe for the beds when I do my morning or evening walk through the garden.”

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