No matter how advanced your gardening skills are, you’ll eventually encounter weeds. Unfortunately, they come with the territory. Ensuring your gardening skills are up to scratch is key to having a great garden whereby you’re skilled to tackle garden weeds.
With that said, there are ways to fight back. Check out these ten tips for eliminating weeds from your garden:
Off With Their Heads!
Are you limited for time? If so, you can often manage weeds by chopping off their heads. Some species will die back considerably and not reappear for several weeks. Use a pair of secateurs or pull them out with your hands.
Dig Weeds Out At The Root
Often, there is more weed growing beneath the surface than above it, so just removing the head won’t kill it off completely.
Grab your digging fork and excavate the area surrounding the plant, taking care not to shatter the root in the process. Once you have unearthed the entire root, put it on your compost. Then remove any remaining root remnants from the soil before covering back over. If this is too strenuous for you then consider weeding services to have a professional come take care of this for you.
Dab Them With Weed Treatment
Modern weed-killers are highly effective. Usually, all you need to do is dab weeds with the product, and they’ll wither and die over the coming days. What’s great about this technique is that it doesn’t require any manual labour. You waltz around your garden like the angel of death, selectively killing plants you want to eliminate while protecting those you wish to keep.
Vinegar is high in a chemical called acetic acid which acts as a desiccant, drying out plant leaves. When you pour it on weeds, it prevents them from supplying their tissues with the correct moisture balance causing them to die.
Your best bet here is to take some generic vinegar and decant it into a spray bottle. Then, direct at the plants you want to kill and pull the trigger.
Please note that vinegar won’t kill weeds with deep roots. Also, be sure to avoid accidentally spraying your favourite rose bush. Vinegar will kill that too!
Pour Boiling Water On Them
This method of weed-killing might sound positively medieval, but it is handy at purging your garden of unwanted plant species.
Grab the kettle, leave it to boil and then carry it outside, ready to pour on weeds. The hot water effectively cooks the plant material, causing it to go into shock and die. This method is particularly useful for weeds that grow up through cracks in your driveway – the ones that are nearly impossible to remove by hand!
Mulch Them Over
All plants, including weeds, require sunlight to survive. Without it, they can’t get the energy they need to construct their tissues.
Mulching them over, therefore, is an excellent way of depriving them of light and preventing new shoots from springing up.
Mulch is best for situations where you have a tall plant in a bed you want to keep weed-free. Just cover the surrounding soil in a few inches of mulch, and it’ll prevent germinating seeds from emerging.
Use Cover Crops
Cover crops, like wheat and barley, grow prolifically. So, in a sense, they are “weeds.” But they’re also very good at crowding out other species that might try to invade your garden. They outcompete them for resources, causing them to die back or disappear altogether.
The cost of this approach is that you have to put up with cover crops growing in your garden. But the benefit is that you won’t have any more hideously ugly thistles popping up.
Put Down Cardboard
Putting down cardboard works in much the same way as mulch. Effectively, what you’re doing is depriving the weeds of the sunlight that they need to thrive. Eventually, they will wither and die, leaving you with a bare patch of soil.
You can combine cardboard with mulch too. Place the cardboard directly over the weeds and then cover with a layer of mulch to make it more attractive.
Do you have weeds growing up in the cracks between your paving stones or difficult-to-access areas? If so, you might want to try using salt. Like vinegar, it dehydrates the weeds, preventing them from maintaining moisture balance. A few days after application, they die off, leaving nothing behind except their desiccated husks.
Try Flame Weeding
Flame weeding involves blow-torching weeds to death. It might sound dangerous, but if you use the right equipment, it needn’t be. Furthermore, it helps you avoid using any chemicals in your garden. Fire is an organic method.
Please be careful, though, if you live in a dry area. Flame weeding can lead to fires.