Weed Control: Ways to Deal With Weeds Successfully
View more related buyers guides
Published by TOP4 Team
Weeds are plants that grow and reproduce quickly and easily but aren’t welcome in the garden, as they edge out the more delicate flora and make the garden beds look untidy. If you’re pressed for time, here are a few preventive measures you can try to control weeds at bay.
- Privet was introduced to Australia as a hedging plant, but it has taken hold in gardens and bushland, as its berries are rapidly spread by birds. Its creamy-white sprays of flowers, which appear in spring, are also a major irritant for hayfever sufferers. Cut the tree off at ground level and spray the stump with glyphosate within 30 seconds. Repeat spray, if necessary, and cut seedlings that come up.
- Wandering jew forms a dense ground cover especially in damp, shady spots. Every piece of stem and root will regrow, so you need to be vigilant. Rake or roll up large areas, then go back over the area picking up any pieces left. Continue checking the area couple of weeks. A thick layer of newspaper covered with at least 5-8cm layer of mulch can also inhibit growth.
- Onion weed grows in garden beds and lawns. It has light green, grass-like leaves, and sends up tall stems topped with white flowers in spring. It is spread by seed, also when the bulb is disturbed. If you try to dig it up during active growth – spring and summer – the bulb instantly shatters, scattering tiny bulbils throughout the soil. The best time to remove it is in winter, when the bulb stays intact. Don’t try to shift the bulb from the soil. Instead, remove and throw away the handful of soil within which the bulb is contained. Break off flowerheads when you see them and snap off the leaves. Herbicides are generally not effective.
- Lawn weeds can make a lawn look unsightly, but they’re easily removed by digging them out by hand before they flower.
- Asthma weed is found in crack between paving stones and house walls, and has sticky seeds, so watch out when handling the plant, as you may transport seeds to other areas on your gloves, shoes and clothes. Dig out each plant singly before it flowers.
Make sure weeds are pulled out regularly, as they spread quickly and rob other plants of nutrients.
- Weed on dry days or after a rain when the soil is loose, allowing plants to be pulled up easily.
- In dry weather, let weeds decompose at the edge of the bed.
- Weed again a few days after breaking up the soil of a bed. When you turn the soil, the seeds of weeds lying on the bottom may come to the top and start to shoot.
- Cut off flowerheads or seedpods before weeding or hoeing to prevent seeds from getting into the soil. Place seedheads in the bin, not the compost, to prevent them from germinating.
- Make short work of weeds growing in cracks and fissures between paving stones or on house walls by pouring boiling water on them.
- Pour salt on lawn weeds or sprinkle them with a solution of one part vinegar and one part water.
Chemical weed and pest killers are a bad idea. The substances they contain harm the environment and run the risk of damaging the soil so much that the plants you have nurtured die, too. With so many natural ways to control weeds available, there’s no need to use them.
- An environmentally friendly way to control weeds are plants that rob weeds of light and nutrients through their own growth, especially ground-covering plants.
- Use dense-growing ground-cover plants such as wild strawberries, periwinkles and violets for shady areas.
- Prevent weeds from growing in sunny beds by planting sedums, euphorbias and ground-cover roses.
- Mulch between plants to prevent unwanted weeds from coming to the surface. For mulch, use freshly cut grass, wood chips, lucerne or sugar cane. You can also use gravel in rock gardens.
- Sow plants that nourish the soil to suppress weeds and later contribute to healthy growth in the flowerbed.
- To prevent the growth of weeds in larger or inaccessible areas of the garden, cover thick layers of newspaper with mulch and cut crosses into the newspaper through which plants can emerge (or into which they can be planted).
Grow the plants in your garden through the help of gardening experts.