As we bask in sunlight and enjoy long nights in the gardens, many of us will be greeted by walls of colours and pleasant scents coming from our flowerbeds. Unfortunately, without even needing to look closely, the colour is likely to be punctured by weeds.
From buttercups and chickweed, to knotgrass and dandelions our flowerbeds (as well as our patios and pathways) can be a hotbed of weeds. If left, not only are these likely to spread out of control but they also have the potential to suffocate your flowers – turning your flowerbeds from a colourful delight to a bedraggled mess.
Tackling Weeds in Flowerbeds:
- Let sleeping weeds lies. You may not know this, but your soil is full of weed seedlings, however only those on the top inch or two of soil will receive enough light to germinate. Leave the others to lie, by not digging over the soil in an attempt to remove those weeds already visible – no matter how tempting this may be. [source: finegardening.com]
- Mulch and mulch again, not only will this prove beneficial to your existing plants by keeping the soil cool and moist, but it also deprives weeds of light and hinders their growth.
- It may be too late for this summer, but ahead of next spring make sure weed barriers are in place. These will prevent weeds from sprouting and act better as a preventative measure, rather than suppressing weeds. [source: RHS]
- Deprive the weeds of water by taking care to only water the plants you want to keep and not the weeds you don’t, when it comes to watering your garden on hot summer nights.
- Keep your garden tools clean, whether it’s your spade, fork, hoe or lawnmower. Clean garden tools will help to prevent weed seeds from spreading. [source: wssa.net]
- If weeds are growing between plants in your flowerbeds, loosen the roots with the help of a screwdriver before pulling them up by hand. It’s also recommended if you’re removing weeds by hand, to moisten the soil first, as this will make it easier to pull them out.
It isn’t just your flowerbeds which prove a hotbed for weeds, pathways, patios and our lawns can be too. But to help you tackle such areas, there are a few additional tips below.
More Grass, Less Weeds in Your Lawn:
- Control / remove weeds from your lawn by feeding, aerating and scarifying it. Not only will this encourage the grass on your lawn to be more vigorous, but it’ll also make it harder for weeds to compete and grow.
- Remove certain weeds such as daisies and dandelions from your lawn by using a hand-fork to ensure they’re removed from the lawn.
- Fertilise your lawn, taking care not to add too much fertiliser as this will nurture weed growth, or too little fertiliser as this is likely to lead to your lawn becoming sparse. [source: thisoldhouse.com]
- Water your lawn infrequently but deeply. Ideally your lawn needs no more than an inch of water to survive, and by watering deeply and infrequently you can help promote a healthy growth from the grass, whilst preventing weeds from prospering.
Remove Weeds from Your Paths:
- To remove weeds from between cracks in paths and patios, use an old knife and scrape these away. This will also help to ensure you remove the roots and prevent weeds from returning. [source: BBC.co.uk]
- If your pathways or patio have become overrun with weeds, instead of spending hours on end pulling them out individually, consider using vinegar. Spraying vinegar onto weeds during sunlight is said to work a treat at removing them from your garden.However, it is worth noting that vinegar can also harm plants and grass you wish to keep in the garden, so it is advisable to only use it in areas where these aren’t.
- An alternative to vinegar is to pour boiling water over the weeds. You can also use boiling water which you’ve cooked pasta or rice in. The heat from the water will shrivel even the hardest of weeds, helping to remove them from your garden. [source: goodhousekeeping.com]
Wherever you’re tackling weeds, whether it is flowerbeds, the lawn or patios – remember the best course of action is to taken preventative steps to stop them from growing; and when this doesn’t work – to act quickly. Stopping weeds from flowering and seeding will reduce the problems you’ll face with them throughout the spring and summer months.
If you have any further tips for weed removal, without the need for chemical products, share them in the comment section below – or join in the conversation via our social media pages.