Weeding top tips

Weeding in your garden is never a fun job, you fundamentally have three choices: prevention, chemical aids (herbicides) or mechanical aids (hoeing) and like most things; prevention is better than cure!

By killing the weeds when they’re seedlings, you’ll ensure they never reach flowering size, so can never set seed and spread themselves even further. Alternatively we are fans of mulching the soil, by adding a mulch or soil covering of bark or similar material, that’s at least 2 inches but preferably 3 inches thick you prevent the weed seeds germinating in the first place. As an added bonus, a mulch will also insulate the roots from frost and cold weather as well as keeping the soil moist during periods of drought. When you’re planting new beds and borders, it’s a great idea to plant through a weed suppressing planting membrane. These are laid on previously prepared soil, the membrane is pulled tight and the edges buried in the soil. X-shaped slits are cut in the fabric to plant through. Once planting is complete, cover the membrane with a thin mulch of bark, gravel or other material to hide it.

The final method we like to use is employing ground cover plants. These are simply low growing plants that cover the soil preventing weed seed from germinating and competing with any that do grow. Good choices include hardy geraniums, periwinkle, aubrietia, hostas and ground cover roses. But there are dozens of other choices so ask our staff for advice when you visit one of our garden centres.