Keeping weeds under control can feel like an endless job, but there are clever ways of making lighter work of these pesky plants. Here are some top tips.
- Don’t ignore them or they’ll get out of control.
- Come up with a management plan and stick to it – 20 minutes once a week could be all it takes.
- Pick on the little weeds first, as they are the easiest and quickest to eradicate.
- Moisten the soil first – especially when trying to dig out established weeds.
- Minimise soil disturbance. Each time you dig over a garden bed, old weed seeds are brought to the surface and will germinate readily in loose soil.
- Keep soil covered – smother weed seeds with mulch or groundcovers.
- Try sheet mulching – for big outbreaks, mow or slash the weeds to ground level, smother with cardboard or newspaper (10-sheets thick), then top with mulch.
- Give solarisation a go – slash the weeds, then cover large areas with black plastic for 4–6 weeks to heat up the weeds and basically ‘cook’ them.
- Enlist some helpers – chooks make light work of a weedy patch, but they don’t discriminate, so take measures to protect the plants you love.
- Remove any seed heads and flowers that appear on weeds, to avoid a population explosion. It only takes a few seconds, and could save you hours of work.
For more great ideas to help you deal with weeds, including tools designed for specific weeding jobs, organic herbicides to use, and how to get rid of persistent bulbous weeds, pick up a copy of the April 2021 issue of ABC Gardening Australia magazine, out now.