Summer is a time when we want to be enjoying our gardens and it is also the time when weeding is required the most, because weeds get everywhere! The seeds often lie dormant in the soil waiting for their chance to flourish. With all the recent rain we have had, and now the warmer weather, it’s fair to say the weeds are currently flourishing!
Of course there are physical preventative measures, like weed mats, that you can use to reduce the need for weeding, however they do not suit all locations and require some preparation. A solution for next year perhaps, but not right now.
You may also be tempted by herbicides, however here at GreenArt we do not use herbicides as they significantly impact the surrounding environment and wildlife.
So it is our job as gardeners to keep weeding during the growing months. But keeping your weeds under control doesn’t have to be an onerous task if you follow these simple guidelines.
Weeding When Wet Or Dry?
The simple answer is you can do either, but it is easier when wet.
When it is wet you can easily lift the weeds out. This is the best option for both young and more established weeds. A great activity to do in the summer after a refreshing rain.
But you can weed when it is dry too!
For weed seedlings you can simply run a hoe across the surface of the ground to loosen the weeds and allow them to dry on the surface. It’s worth mentioning that if it does rain later that day you may want to go and remove the recently displaced weeds from the surface as they can re-root in moist soil!
They grow quickly don’t they?! And after a good summer rain and a sunny day you could be forgiven for thinking you’d not weeded this season. Or maybe you haven’t yet? For the record, we would say you should be assessing your garden for weeds at least weekly. The key is consistency.
Regular weeding will allow you to stay on top of your weeds and thus create a garden space that you can enjoy throughout the summer.
It also helps with reducing the number of seed heads that can form, keeping your future weeding jobs to a minimum.
Natural Weed Supression
There are a number of strategies and tactics you can use in your garden that will support the suppression of weeds, further reducing the work involved to maintain your garden.
Weeds require light to grow so mulching is an effective way to suppress weed growth. The mulch providing the added benefit for your plants of retaining moisture.
This works with gravel in a similar way, as long as there is sufficient cover to block out the light.
🌱 Strategic Watering
Weeds thrive because they are taking the nutrients from the plants around them. By restricting the nutrients, like water, that weeds can access you can suppress their prolific growth. Drip hoses are a great example of this where the water is delivered directly to the plant, not the entire surrounding area.
🌱 Strategic Planting
Weeds are opportunists and thrive because they have the space to grow. By designing your garden bed with a planting scheme that allows minimal light to get to the ground you will naturally be able to suppress some weed growth in your garden. It is important however to note that not all plants like to exist in close proximity. This is where we can help you.
🌱 Dead Heading
For those weeds that you just cannot remove in time, or find late, you can cut off their heads to ensure seeds are not spawned for another year of growth.
🌱 Cultivate less!
Yes, you read right. Don’t disrupt your soil too much as this will expose dormant weed seeds to the light. Resulting in a further wave of weeding requirements!
But What About The Environment?
If possible, allocate a place in your garden where the weeds can be left to flourish. Whilst this may seem counter intuitive to the advice given above, weeds play a vital role in the environment. Weeds are after all plants in the wrong place. Insects and wildlife thrive in these ecosystems. For example, did you know that the nettle is the home of the Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies?
If weeding your garden is too much for you to tackle, contact us to discuss a Care & Development Package that meets your needs. Our teams love weeding and would be happy to help you reclaim your garden so you can enjoy it all year round.