Weeds – prevention & cure
Weeds can turn your pride and joy into an unholy mess, if given the chance. Apart from looking untidy weeds - may harbour insects and diseases that may cause problems in the garden. Compete for light, water and nutrition, with the garden or pot.
Successful weed control depends on preventive methods, and the timely use of cultivation or chemicals.
Like most problems, prevention is better than cure. Here are a few easy steps to help minimise weeds in your garden.
- Start with a clean slate – you are really going to have a battle if you are planting into an area that has excessive amounts of weed seed. To help reduce the bank of seeds in the ground, try and get a few ‘crops’ of weeds to emerge prior to planting your garden. Most weed seeds love the soil to be disturbed, so by cultivating the garden bed you will actually encourage
- Mulching - These materials shade out weed seeds located under the mulch and also prevent the weed seeds on top of the mulch from making contact with the soil. Mulching will not solve all your weed problems but will make life a lot easier.
- Don’t let weeds go to seed – Once they have set seed and the seed is in the ground, the problem will reemerge for years to come.
- Remove weed seed from garden – when pulling or chipping out weeds, don’t leave the seeds behind in the garden, or put them in the compost (that will be put on the garden), PUT THEM IN THE BIN.
- Keep surrounds clean – many weeds are carried by wind or animals, by keeping the surrounding area clean, you will reduce the risk of weed seed making it into your gardens.
Killing Existing Weeds
Herbicides can be used effectively to control established weeds. Round Up® is a common brand on the market. These products, can’t tell the difference between a plant you want and a plant you don’t want (weeds). Care and caution must be exercised when spraying weeds within your garden, so as to not harm wanted plants. Always follow the manufactures guidelines and instructions.
Removing weeds that are close to your plants is best done by hand, or with a spade or chipping hoe.
It is much easier to successfully manage weeds when they are small, as they are easier to spray or remove, and they also haven’t yet set seed.