Spring is the time where growth of weeds increases due to the warmer weather. No gardener wants their garden to be overrun by weeds, therefore it is important to keep good weed control. Controlling weeds can be a lot easier than people think as long as they are spotted nice and early, so it really is important to keep an eye on your garden. It also said that weeding is therapeutic for gardeners so don’t think of it as a chore. There are many methods to control weeds including natural ways as well as chemical ways. Here is a guide we have put together on the different methods of weed control and ways of preventing them.
Types of weeds
Weeds can either be classed as an annual weed or a perennial weed. Annual weeds have one year cycles that ends with them setting seeds for the next generation. They can be removed by using your hands or a hoe. Common annual weeds include:
- Hairy bittercress: found in borders and pots
- Groundsel: found in borders
- Chickweed: found in borders
Perennial weeds have life cycles longer than one year. These may need to be removed with a weed killer. Weed killers are normally best applied in the spring on a still day. Applying on a windy day can lead to drift onto precious plants and should be avoided. Perennial weeds can also be forked out of the ground, but ensure you remove the full root. Common perennial weeds include:
- Dandelion: lawns, borders and paths.
- Hedge bindweed: swamps shrubs in borders.
- Japanese knotweed: borders
Where are they?
Weeds can grow in a variety of places and depending on where they grow, determines how you should try to control and prevent them. They can also harbour diseases and pests which will affect plants in the direct vicinity.
Bare patches of soil in the borders are probably one of the most common places that can become overrun by annual and perennial weeds. Therefore, where possible try and fill any gaps in your border with plants to make it harder for the weeds to take over. Alternatively, you can mulch the bare soil with a thick layer of bark chippings or manure in the spring to prevent the weeds growing. Gro-Sure Smart Ground Cover is a good mulch to use to prevent weeds growing. If you have a really large area of bare soil such as an unused vegetable patch, cover it over with plastic to prevent weeds from germinating as there will be no light getting to them.
Annual weeds can be removed from borders by hand or with a hoe. The tops of the roots should be broken off so they do not have chance to produce more seed and spread.
Perennial weeds can be removed by levering the plant from the soil with a hand fork. Remove all of the roots so weeds cannot regrow.
Paths and patios
Weeds can also appear on paths and patios. As the weather gets warmer and you start to prepare for the summer BBQ’s you will be hosting, you don’t want weeds taking over your paths and patios. If any appear, you can remove them with a knife or special paving brush to scrape weeds out of the gaps between slabs. Alternatively, you can use a chemical product such as Resolva Path and Patio. This is best to use in the spring. Using a chemical is particularly effective if you have weeds in your path and patio that are hard to reach. This also ensures that the weed and the root is killed which is important to ensure the weed doesn’t grow back.
Common lawn weeds include Dandelions, Daisies and annual meadow grass. To prevent these it is important to care for your lawn and keep it healthy. This includes aerating and raking the lawn annually to improve drainage and remove debris.
If you happen to get any weeds in your lawn you can spot treat these with a lawn weed killer. It is important to use one specific for lawns because you will kill your grass. Resolva Lawn Weedkiller Extra is a good product to use to kill the weeds, and spring is a great time to apply it.
Weeds that grow in pots are a real problem as they take all the moisture from the pot. This is a problem as moisture is restricted in pots for plants. They can very easily overrun the pot, so keep an eye on the pots and deal with them early by removing them by hand. Using an ornamental mulch such as pebbles will help to prevent the growth of weeds.