What’s the best way to get rid of weeds in my garden?

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When the sun is shining and the weather is warm, there is nothing better than spending an afternoon in the garden.

And there’s nothing more annoying than walking out to find that weeds have taken over again. Suddenly a relaxing day outdoors becomes the hot, sweaty and back-achingly tiring task of pulling up weeds and trying to take back your lawn.

How can you get rid of weeds in your garden? Can you conquer weeds forever or are you cursed to spend every weekend fighting a losing battle?

Weed control versus weeding

The first thing you should know is that weed control does not mean the same as weeding. Weeding simply means the removal – or attempted removal – of weeds. Weed control means decreasing or keeping weeds to a satisfactory level. It may surprise you to learn that depending on how and when you weed, as well as the type of weed you’re dealing with, weeding may actually lead to an increase of weeds!

The key is to prevent weeds from spreading by setting seed

Almost every weed forms flowers, although they may not match your preconceived notion of what a flower looks like as most lack petals. However, they do have the reproductive parts needed to pollinate and form seeds. Weed control sprays should be applied before weeds have had the chance to set seed, and preferably, before any ‘flowers’ have formed. If you apply weed control spray after the seeds have formed, you are wasting your time.

Don’t provide weeds with the comfort and light they want!

Weed seeds need light to germinate, which is why you are much more likely to find weeds in sunny, open areas rather than in the shade. Therefore, to restrict weed seeds from germinating, you will want to eliminate bare ground through mulching or planting plenty of plants you do want in your garden. You should also restrict watering to the areas around plants – otherwise, you are providing weeds with the water they need to grow.

Handle weeds with care

There are many weeds that produce an astounding amount of seeds. For example, a single dandelion head has enough seeds to populate the average garden. When weeding, you will need to make sure that you don’t shake it or carry it across the garden as all you’ll be doing is spreading the seeds!

And as tempting as it is, don’t simply pull up the weeds and leave them in the garden. Even when dying in the sun, a lot of weeds can still set seed from their flowers, which means a lot of hard work on your part and very little joy.


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