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Getting right to the root of the weed problem!

By Alan Beresford

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TAKING time when it comes to watering, making a chemical-free weed killer and mulching are some of the ways experts have suggested to keep on top of pesky weeds.

Weeds can be a perennial problem for gardeners.
Weeds can be a perennial problem for gardeners.

Gardening experts from GardeningExpress.co.uk have revealed six tips on how to stop, and prevent, weeds growing in a garden.

It’s important to ensure that the whole plant is removed when picking weeds, but pay particular attention to the roots as these hardy plants will soon grow back if only the top parts are removed.

Considering weed-suppressing materials may also be an idea if placing gravel, paving or decking onto a weed-prone area.

A spokesperson for GardeningExpress.co.uk said: “Weeding can be a real pain.

"It can often seem like as soon as you’ve picked a weed there are 10 more starting to grow in its place.

“They can make an outdoor space look unkempt so it’s important to keep on top of them where possible.

“By following these tips you should be able to train and remove the weeds from your garden, reducing the amount of labour needed.”

These are GardeningExpress.co.uk’s tips for weeding:

1. Watering – Just like flowers, weeds also need water to be able to grow. If you’re watering your plants make sure you try and avoid the areas where weeds are, as this will encourage them to grow. Do this by using a watering can with a smaller spout and by just watering the roots of the flowers, instead of the leaves.

2. Hand pulling – Picking out weeds by hand or with a hand fork will work for annual or ephemeral weeds that only last up to a year. Perennial weeds die over winter and re-grow each spring meaning they are very deep-rooted. Just removing the tops will not affect these weeds.

3. Roots – If you are struggling with perennial weeds, grab a spade and try to remove all of the weed, most importantly its roots. If not, the deep roots will ensure the weed keeps growing even after you’ve removed the top. Depending on the length of the roots it may disturb the soil and other flower roots around it.

4. Materials – If you have a particularly bad weed problem, using a weed-suppressant fabric may be a good idea. These groundcover fabrics should be laid over soil which has recently been cleared of weeds to stop re-growth or new weeds establishing. Materials can include plastic sheeting, woven materials and spun materials, each coming with their own advantages and disadvantages.

5. Mulching – Placing a thick mulch on flowerbeds will help make it more difficult for the weeds to grow through. The mulch needs to be deep for it to be effective – around 10-15cm should help starve the weeds of sunlight and water.

6. Non-chemical weed killer – You can create your own weed killer which doesn’t use chemicals from mixing vinegar, water and soap. Spray it onto the weeds in the garden. For some weeds one spritzing should be enough to kill them, but others may need spraying a few more times until it works.

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