It’s all too easy for weeds to get out of hand in a garden, with them seeming to multiply overnight after a few days of sun and rain in a row. Weeding must be a gardener’s least favorite task and yet is probably the one carried out the most frequently in every garden.
However, before you give up and reach for the potentially harmful weedkiller bottle in desperation, take a look at our tips for the best ways to clear your garden of weeds once and for all, without needing harsh chemicals:
Don’t Try Digging Weeds Out
Your garden is full of the seeds from which weeds grow, but the only ones that will germinate are those in the top couple of inches of your soil. Digging weeds up brings more of those weed seeds up into those few inches and they will grow all over again.
Try to avoid digging near weeds, instead use a knife to cut through their roots, which will cause them to die without bringing more seeds up to the surface. If you do need to dig in a flower bed, then you can halt the germination of weeds by covering the area in other plants or mulch.
Cover Your Flower Beds With Mulch
By covering your flower beds with your choice of mulch, those weed seeds can’t reach the light and so won’t germinate. It doesn’t matter if you choose bark, straw, or wood chips, it will help to keep those weeds down.
Mulch also helps to keep the soil moist for your other plants and can also attract insects, many of which will enjoy eating up any weed seeds they find, so it holds a lot of benefits for your garden, as well as weed prevention.
Don’t Give Up
A garden full of weeds won’t be cleared overnight. It’s important to keep going and stick with your own schedule. Aim to clear one space at a time and tackle that. Keep consistent and don’t give up and you will succeed.
Try Weeding After It Has Been Raining
After a good rainfall, it can be a lot easier to remove weeds. A useful tool is an old fork that you can use to twist around old stubborn weeds. It can be much easier to remove weeds from wet soil than when it’s very dry.
Slice Their Roots When It’s Dry
When the weather is dry, slice the roots using a knife and make sure to mulch any areas which you have cleared. The sliced plants will shrivel up and die in the sunshine making them easy to remove from the ground.
Watch this video for three tips to clear weeds organically:
Cut Off The Flower Heads
If you can’t remove weeds altogether, one of the best things you can do is just remove the flower heads so that they can’t reseed everywhere. By cutting off the heads it gives you some time to limit the spread of the weeds across the garden.
Plant Your Plants Close Together
Once you have cleared a space in a flower bed then you can plant plants closer together, which puts all the soil in the shade and will help to stop new weeds from growing through in the gaps. Make sure you follow the guidance as some species of plants needs space to grow.
Cause A Drought
If you are clearing an area of weeds and don’t have any plants that you actually want in that area, then don’t water the area and try to dry it out. Water deprivation is a great way to stop those annoying seeds from germinating in the first place.
Add Organic Compost to Your Soil
Enriching your soil with organic compost and other organic matter is another strategy that works for reducing weed growth, although it’s not clear why this should be the case. However, everything is worth a try when you are battling a garden full of weeds.
Composting The Dead Weeds
Once you have cleared all those weeds from your garden, what should you do with them? The best option is to compost them so you can just throw them onto the compost heap or into your compost bin.
But the problem with that is most of them contain seeds so if you then put that compost over your nicely weed-free garden you will end up dealing with the same weed problem all over again. So, you need to take action to remove the seeds.
The best way to do this is to keep the compost heap hot, which can be done by using plastic bags to store it and placing them in the sun. Once it has been cooked, you can also then reprocess it by putting it in a compost bin with earthworms to do their work as well.