Keep an Eye on Your Weeds this Spring
Now the weather is getting warmer, you'll need to keep on top of weeding. Removing the worst of the weeds before they get established will save you stress later. Use an effective tool like our weeding fork or twist and pull weeder to tackle those devilish weeds that re-grow if you leave in any of the roots.
A borders weed slice or block paving knife will help remove stubborn weeds and moss from block paving, nooks and crannies. Simply hold the weed in one hand, submerge the prongs around the roots of the plant and twist to remove the offending intruder and its roots.
Your entire garden contains weed seeds, but only those in the top inch or two of soil get enough light to activate germination. Digging and cultivating brings hidden weed seeds to the surface, so accept that weed seeds are there ready to break out every time you open a patch of ground. Dig only when necessary and immediately salve the disturbed spot with plants or mulch.
Using Mulch as a Weed Barrier
Asides from pulling out weeds with your hands, mulch is likely the single most important means of weed control. Use deep organic mulches such as bark or wood chip to smother weeds around plants. To be effective, keep them topped up to a minimum depth of 10-15cm (4-6in) to smother established annual weeds. Keep woody stems clear of mulch to prevent rotting.
Small bits of light passes through chunky mulches, and often you will discover—too late—that the mulch you used was full of weed seeds. It’s important to replace the mulch as needed to keep it roughly at 2 inches deep (more than 3 inches deep can rob soil of oxygen).
Mulch helps plants by keeping the soil cool and moist and preventing weeds getting exposed to light. Organic mulches can host crickets and carabid beetles, which seek out and consume thousands of weed seeds.
In any case, you can set weeds way back by covering the soil’s surface with our biodegradable mulch mats. Mulch mats help to prevent the growth of weeds, which deprive plants of nutrients and moisture. They protect plants roots from extremes of temperature whilst retaining valuable moisture in the soil. These mulch mats will even deter slugs from chomping on your prized plants.
Hoeing as a Manual Removal & Cutting Back of Weeds
To stop weeds in mulch you can rake mulch off to the side, then hoe or pull any existing weeds using a hand hoe or a weed puller. Run a hoe over a bed or between rows to kill most weed seedlings. For maximum effectiveness, choose a dry day with a light wind, so that the seedlings will dry out on the surface of the bed rather than re-rooting into moist soil.
Why not browse the rest of our weeding essentials here: https://www.greenhousesensation.co.uk/allotment-garden/tools/weeding-tidying/