HOW TO WEED
The best way to weed is, we’re sorry to say, by manual means, but you can take comfort in the fact that you will be burning an average of 400 calories per hour while doing so!
A weed is simply; an unwanted plant growing in your garden that uses precious resources you would rather be used by your cultivated plants.
A few pointers to ease the task of weeding:
- Weed regularly. Make it a weekly task to weed beds and you will eventually gain the upper hand. Also nurture the habit of picking any weeds you see as you take a stroll through the garden.
- Remove weeds when they are big enough to get a good grip on, but before they go to flower or seed. If you pull them up before seed have developed they can even be left on top of the soil, dug in as a green manure or added to the compost heap.
- Weed after a rain shower or after irrigating while the soil is soft and weeds are easier to pull up. It is important to remove the plant (yes, weeds are plants!) roots and all as some weeds can regrow from pieces of root left in the soil.
- Pull the weeds from the base, as close as possible to soil level.
- If weeds have gone to seed, rake them up as thoroughly as possible, place in a black plastic bag and tie it tightly. Leave the bag in full sun for about a month – the heat generated should kill the seed. Only at this point should the weeds be added to your trash. Alternatively the weeds can be burnt. If left in the garden or added to the compost, they will simply start a new cycle.
Tools of the trade – these will make weeding easier:
- A pair of durable, waterproof garden gloves.
- Kneeling pads or a kneeling chair for bigger jobs.
- A weed trowel to lift weeds out.
- A garden spade or fork to dig out larger or stubborn weeds.
- A weed scraper for removing weeds between pavers.
- A mechanical weed extractor for easy removal of weeds without bending down.
Herbicides / Weedkillers:
In case of severe infestation, you might feel the need to apply a herbicide as a quick solution.
There are 3 types of herbicides available on the market:
- Non-selective herbicides which will kill all plants they come in contact with, including your garden plants. These are suitable for use on driveways and pavers (watch out for run-off into beds) and large areas that have not been cultivated.
- Selective herbicides which are specially formulated to only kill broad-leafed plants and grasses. These are suitable for use on lawns with no harm done to the narrow lawn blades. In your choice of lawn herbicide, remember that your family and animals will be using the lawn and can be affected by residues.
- Soil fumigants which will kill dormant weed seeds, but will also render your soil basically sterile.
When applying herbicides:
- always wear a mask and protective goggles,
- read the enclosed pamphlet carefully to ensure product suitability,
- mix strictly according to recommended ratios,
- spray on a windless day and
- discard of the container in a responsible way. Lifestyle Home Garden offers a drop-off point for used or half used pesticide containers. Please enquire at the Inside Info desk.