How to Weed Your Garden
An important part of caring for your garden is dealing with weeds. We’ve all seen them and heard of them, but what are they and what’s the best way to get rid of them? If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide on how to remove weeds from your garden, then you’ve come to the right place! By learning how to spot weeds and control them you can help your other plants thrive and your garden blossom. So read on for all of the best tips to get rid of weeds for good!
What are weeds?
Simply put, weeds are plants that are growing where they shouldn’t be. They thrive in most types of soil and are generally fast-growing, making them a reliable nuisance to any garden space. While some are beautiful (and can be mistaken for something other than a weed), others are unsightly. But no matter what type of weed you’re faced with, the reality is that they take space, sunlight, water and nutrients from the plants we actually want to grow.
Most weeds are obvious and easy to spot, but sometimes it can be difficult to decipher which plant is a friend or a foe. So we’ve narrowed down the types of weeds into four categories and their common varieties to make them easier to recognise.
These weeds only last one season but will leave seeds to regrow year after year. As long as you remove these weeds before they set seed, you’ll successfully tackle the problem. A garden hoe or trowel will easily do the job, but if you’re still having problems, a weedkiller like Weedol will take care of any stragglers. Examples of annual weeds include bittercress, chickweed and groundsel.
These weeds are given their name for their enduring nature, causing the most headache for gardeners. They tirelessly regenerate, and spread invasively through their roots. If even the tiniest bit of root remains after weeding, they will return.
Examples of perennial weeds include bindweed, dandelions, giant hogweed, ground elder, japanese knotweed and nettle. You can pull or dig them out of the ground with a weed puller, making sure to get the roots, or you can use a specialised weedkiller. Just make sure to read the instructions before use!
These invasive and relatively fast-growing weeds develop a strong, woody stem that can be difficult to remove once it’s taken hold. Hand pulling and digging when these plants are young seedlings will save a lot of hard work later. Examples of wood weeds include brambles, ivy and ash trees.
These weeds compete with your grass for space to grow, and more often than not they look attractive. Buttercups, clovers, daisies, dandelions and coarse-leaved grasses like crabgrass are all examples of lawn weeds. You might choose to keep them for a flower-rich lawn or remove them so they don’t ultimately kill the surrounding grass. Dig them out with a hand trowel or a specialised lawn weedkiller to get the job done.
How to weed
Weeding is surprisingly budget friendly, as most of it can be done by hand. In fact, it’s as easy as rolling up your sleeves and pulling them out! That said, to properly weed, and not do the job over, you need to use a tool that will allow you to properly loosen the soil and get the whole plant - roots and all! Any half measures will just result in the weed regaining strength and regrowing. We’ve listed our recommended toolkit below to get the job done, but any solid trowel or hoe will be just the ticket.
And don’t forget a pair of garden gloves! If you want to manually pull a weed out of the ground, garden gloves are a must. Don’t try to yank weeds out without them!
Watch our instructional video on how to remove weeds
How to dispose of weeds
Once you’ve done your weeding make sure you properly dispose of the weeds. Throwing them in the bin or burning them is best. Never put them in the compost pile as this will just encourage them to regrow.
How to prevent weeds from returning
As you’ve probably guessed by now, there’s not much one can do when it comes to preventing weeds from cropping up in the garden. When tackling them, it’s very much a case of do it right or do it over. And even when one does do it right, there’s always a chance they might return in a few months or years.
One solution that’s well-suited to landscaping projects of all sizes is a weed control fabric like the Outsunny Weed Barrier. As demonstrated in our video above, this fabric allows for movement of moisture both in and out of the soil while discouraging the growth of weeds. Use mulch or wood chips to keep the weed barrier in place and encourage the plants you actually want to grow.
We hope these tips have been useful in helping you tackle your garden weeds. If you think weeding is unpleasant or aren’t sure about it, keep in mind that as a repetitive physical task it can help calm the mind from daily stressors, and is a good way to decompress. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of gardening - weeding included! - check out our current summer campaign, Plant & Pause for ways to get involved.