This time of year is all about prolific growth – and that’s certainly true of weeds. They creep in during the last of the winter months (when we’re all too cold or wet to venture outdoors) and by September, they’ve unleashed their havoc on our gardens and flower beds – often with a vengeance.
Considering the tenacity of weeds, it’s a wonder any of us win the annual pitch and fork battle against them… Just one dandelion plant makes up to 15,000 seeds, each of which can survive six years in the soil – creating 15,000 more seeds when it sprouts and matures.
Take heart though friends – the battle can be won. Our very own expert gardener at Uitsig, Niall, shares his tried-and-tested tips to weed out the mean green villains:
- Mow your lawn reasonably high to begin with and then be sure to properly dispose of the cuttings (which will carry seeds from this year’s weed beds).
- A healthy, lush lawn is the best defense again weeds – so feed or fertilize after mowing to help the grass recover from its winter slumber.
- Clean your mower well, otherwise you will only sow more weed seeds the next time you mow.
- Weeding by hand is the most effective.
- To make sure you don’t leave any seeds or roots behind, use a proper weeding tool and remove the soil around each weed.
- Weeding is best done section by section, string off an area and finish it properly before moving onto a new area.
- Buy grass seeds or plugs from your local nursery to overseed and close open the obvious patches left after you’re done. Niall suggests Bermuda seed.
- It’s best to remove weeds before they seed, so don’t delay – your time is almost up!
- Even if you manage to weed before they seed, there will be at least another generation or 2 of seeds left in the soil, so be prepared for more manual labour next Spring!
Niall’s natural weed control concoction:
“There are all sorts of weed killers which can be acquired from your local nursery, but I prefer to go natural, and save the environment for others to enjoy.”
1 cup of white apple vinegar
5 tablespoons of salt
A good squirt of dishwashing liquid
Pour the above into a 5-litre spray bottle, fill up with water, and off you go! Spray directly onto the offending plant, or area. This is best done in sunny weather. You should start seeing the results in a couple of hours.