Most people think that spraying some chemical, like glyphosate (aka Roundup), will fix all their weed problems in one hit. And while it may sometimes depending on the type of weeds you have growing in your garden it won’t always be able to eliminate all of your weeds.
The best way to eliminate weeds is to understand them. It’s the same with plants in your garden; each has their own needs and requirements that differ to others. If you were to treat them all the same you would find that many of them would suffer and possibly even die while others will prosper and grow healthier.
How To Control Weeds
The best step in eliminating weeds is to control them before they take off and start to damage your garden. This is where mulch comes in. If applied thick enough, about 10cm (4 inches), it will stop many roots from even starting let alone being able to gain control in the bed. Reapply the mulch on an annual basis as it will break down into the soil and become ineffective as a weed suppressant.
Manual Methods of Eliminating Weeds
Manual methods of removing weeds are always the safest and eliminate the need for herbicides to be stored in your garden or home. It usually involves a little more work but can be as effective and sometimes results are faster.
If you have weeds growing through the cracks in your paving whether it be a pathway or a driveway, try pouring boiling water directly onto the weed. This will kill them immediately and after a few days they will uproot and blow away never to be seen again. A word of warning though, don’t allow any boiling water to splash onto nearby plants – it will have the same effect on them also.
Hoeing is also a good way to remove weeds from garden beds. Just run your hoe through the bed ripping the weed out root and all. The weed can then lay in the garden and decompose adding to the soil’s structure. If you are planning to use this method make sure you do it before the weeds flower. If it is flowering it may pay to remove it by hand and then discard in the bin or a hot compost pile.
If weeds are overtaking your lawn, the best way to eliminate them is to hand pull them with a lawn weeder which comprises of a curled leverage point and two sharpened tines. Lift the weed completely from the lawn and then fill the hole with some top dressing mix from your local soil retailer or just fill in with coarse sand.
How To Eliminate Weeds Over Large Areas
Most manual methods only take into consideration small areas within your garden. If you want to eliminate weeds over a greater area try employing the use of the soil solarization method. To do this place a large sheet of black plastic over the area and weight it down with bricks, sand or even pieces of timber. Leave it in place for about 7-14 days and then remove the plastic. The amount of heat that will have been built up will have eliminated most, if not all, of your weeds and possibly any seeds that were lying dormant on the top of the soil. You can dig the remains into the soil and after improving it you can plant almost straight away.
Identifying The Weeds In Your Garden
To identify weeds that reside in your garden and know the best ways to eliminate and control them visit this site if you live in Australia. The rest of the world might like to view this great site which requires you to input some data about the weed including number of leaves, colour, flower type and colour etc and then it will interpet the results and identify your weed for you.
Photo source: Jerry