Garden weeds can invade the garden at any time of the year, some extremely fast growing. If they get out of control, they can be difficult to banish, so it’s best to tackle them as soon as they appear. A gardening expert has shared his top tips exclusively with Express.co.uk on how to get rid of weeds for good.
Gena Loraine, gardening expert at Fantastic Services explains: “To manage weeds, mulch the soil. It blocks sunlight from weeds, inhibits their growth and helps retain moisture.
Mulch is any material that is spread or laid on the soil surface and used as a cover. It is usually made from dead plant matter such as compost, leaf bark, or grass clippings.
If gardeners are looking for something a little more instantaneous, Gena says, “Pouring boiling water over weeds can kill them instantly, along with any seeds that may be dormant in the soil.
“It’s great for driveways, garden paths and driveways, but not for lawns. Annual weeds need to be tended to before they have a chance to seed.
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“Just be sure to attach a basket to your mower rather than throwing the clippings on the grass.” It is often not necessary to mow the lawn during the winter months, but if weeds appear, make sure it is dry before cutting.
For gardeners who are not yet ready to fight and completely get rid of weeds, the expert advised not to let them sprout. Gardeners can do this by cutting off the tops with a lawnmower or lawn whip before flowering.
Gena said to keep the edges of the garden trimmed to reduce weeds. She added: “You will want to keep an eye not only on the edges of your lawn, but also around posts and fences.
“Also watch out for weeds near flower beds. Soil aeration is a great way to get rid of weeds. Many weeds grow because the soil is compacted and prevents the entry of water, air and nutrients.
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“If you have a lot of weeds that don’t respond to other methods, use a weed burner. It connects to a propane tank and burns the weeds, getting them out of the lawn for good.
Another invasive weed that can quickly take over buildings, fences and walls is English ivy which is extremely aggressive and fast growing.
Although this plant is easily identifiable, many owners make the mistake of leaving it in their garden for too long. It has glossy leaves with three to five lobes and attaches to supports producing aerial roots along the stems.
When stems are moved away from support, such as a wall or fence, they often leave roots. Gena explained: “The best way to remove ivy from a wall is to cut the stem with a sharp saw and then dig up the root.
“Once the foliage is dead, you can gently remove the sticky stems with a wire brush. If it’s covering the ground, dig it up with a pickaxe or pitchfork and dump it somewhere else.
“Alternatively, if the soil does not need planting, remove all top growth, cover with weed control cloth and add bark mulch 10-15cm deep. It can also be sprayed with a tough weed killer containing glyphosate, but be careful as it will kill any plant it touches.
“Spray lightly so the weed killer doesn’t run off the leaves, or better yet, crush and damage the leaves before spraying so they can absorb more weed killer. Multiple applications may be required.
If Brits want to opt for something other than weedkiller, the expert recommends making a homemade solution of water and vinegar.
This involves using 80% water and 20% white vinegar and mixing them together in a container.