Weeds, so the saying goes, are just plants in the wrong place. The trouble is, there are so many of them. However much you might think dandelions are pretty, or ground elder has elegant leaves, if you stop to admire them too long you (and your plants) will quickly be overrun.
You’ll probably never be completely free of weeds, but it’s quite possible to keep them well under control. At Whitehaven Garden Centre you’ll find all you need from weedkillers for persistent thugs, to hoes to deal with tiny annual weed seedlings before they get their heads too far above ground.
For a really effective anti-weed strategy, tailor your approach to the weed you’re tackling.
Annual weeds: the easiest to tackle as long as you have a routine. Every week without fail, whether it looks like it needs it or not, use a Dutch hoe to slice through emerging seedlings just below the surface.
Deep-rooted dandelions and docks: these can regenerate from the tip of the root left in the ground, so dig down deep enough to get the whole thing out, or spot-treat with a glyphosate-based weedkiller.
Smothering bindweed: The twining stems of bindweed are a menace in the garden, strangling your plants and smothering everything, Hand-weeding rarely controls it properly: in our garden centre you’ll find hand-held glyphosate gel weedkiller treatments to paint on the leaves without endangering nearby plants.
Persistent ground elder and couch grass: These won’t kill your plants but they do compete with them for water and nutrients. Their long, brittle roots mean they often survive digging out by hand. Spray with glyphosate-based weedkiller, or keep them out with thick weed-control fabric, available in our garden centre.
Brambles: Often a problem on neglected ground, brambles colonise large areas by arching stems which root where they touch the ground. Don a thick pair of gauntlets and wade in with loppers to cut them back, then dig out rootstocks one by one, or paint the stumps with a stumpkiller treatment.
For long term control of weeds we recommend using the black, permeable membrane on your soil. This allows the water to pass through but cuts out all light, thereby preventing weeds from growing. It is great under gravel or bark, lasts for years and is easy to plant through if you wish to put some plants in. It is sold in various widths, by the metre off the roll so you can purchase as much or little as you need.