Weeds are a problem that we have all encountered in the garden, and, unfortunately, they are a year round nuisance. It sometimes seems that no matter how many times you remove them, they grow back with a vengeance and that the cycle is never ending. However, there are some steps you can take to help prevent the growth of weeds in your garden. This article will reveal all…
Lay Weed Matting
Laying weed matting means that there is an extra layer of prevention before the weeds become visible. It is important that you lay this as you are landscaping your garden, however, as it will obviously be incredibly difficult to lay under existing shingle or bark. You can also lay weed matting underneath decked areas to prevent weeds from growing up between the gaps in the wood.
Mulch, Mulch, Mulch
Mulching the soil is good for a number of reasons, and the prevention of weeds is probably the most useful! Mulch is great for preventing weeds in areas in which you are growing plants or crops, where it would be unsuitable to use weed matting. Straw, stones, pebbles and bark chips are inexpensive and easy to source materials for mulching.
Recurring weeds are often the result of people not pulling them out from their root. Simply removing the above ground parts of the weeds means that they are not dead and will simply grow back quickly. Hand forks and specific long handled weed tools are great for pulling them out from their roots.
Don’t Disturb the Soil
If you disturb your soil too much, even if your aim is to aerate it, you are increasing the workload for yourself. Moving the soil means that you may bring any ‘weed seeds’ to the top of the soil, giving them the sunlight and oxygen they require to germinate and grow into annoying weeds as we know them.
Reduce Empty Space
You can actually reduce weed growth in your garden by being intelligent with the way that you plant flowers and other plants in your garden. Double digging the soil to around 2 foot deep means that plant roots can grow down rather than outwards to get water. This means that you can plant more plants closer together, leaving less bare soil for weeds to grow in- planting in a diamond shaped pattern, rather than in a straight line means that you can fit a larger number of plants in the area. Keep a similar mindset for your lawn area: if grass is healthy and thick across the whole lawn, there will be no room for weeds to grow. Keep an eye out for any ‘bald’ patches on your lawn and sprinkle seeds over them to encourage the grass to grow back.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that we will find a way to prevent weeds altogether. However, if you put at least some of these tips into practise you will significantly reduce their numbers in your garden!
[Photo Credit: Sam Hames]