Chris Bonnett is the owner of Gardening Express
Weeds thrive in warmer temperatures and depending on where you live in the UK, sunny spells may mean you have already noticed that they’ve started to come through. And with Summer not too far away, now is a great time to get on top of them to prevent them from becoming too problematic later on in the year.
By getting rid of weeds earlier (or as soon as you spot them!) you minimise their chance to multiply and spread which will give you a bigger and much more time-consuming problem down the line.
Taking care of weeds quickly and preventing their growth means you’ll have to spend less time worrying about them.
So how do we keep them away?
Keeping on top of mulching is a great and consistent technique for keeping weeds at bay and compared to a lot of other techniques it’s really simple.
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If you’re new to mulching, just mix together different biodegradable materials like bark, wood chippings, and straw and put this on the problem area.
Mulching will essentially block the sunlight from being able to access weeds which is what promotes their growth.
And the great thing about this technique is that it kills two birds with one stone – you’ll be able to prevent weeds from growing and the mulch itself will put nutrients back into the soil helping plants and grass to grow.
To stop weeds coming through altogether you could also use a pre-emergent but remember this is a chemical option and it’s best to apply this now before weeds settle in.
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Pre-emergents are designed to target germinating weed seeds so they put you one step ahead.
This way you can target the weed before it even becomes a problem.
If you’re looking for a non-chemical solution then consider investing in a weed burner.
This is a really popular solution for people if you are worried about using chemicals around pets or children.
Weed burners heat up to around 650 degrees and heat up the weeds and their cells which causes them to burst and kill them, essentially killing the weed.
Other non-chemical (and inexpensive) options include making a homemade weed killer with baking soda.
If you weren’t able to prevent the weed from growing, simply wet it slightly and sprinkle baking soda powder on top.
By wetting the weed first you create a better surface for the powder to stick to.
You won’t need too much of this either, around one teaspoon per weed will do the trick and within a couple of days, you’ll notice the weed turning brown and you can pull it out.
Other household items you could use to kill your weeds are vinegar and dish soap – mix the two together, put the mixture in a spray bottle, and spritz over your weeds.
This is probably best on new or smaller weeds, older weeds with established roots will definitely require something a little stronger.
But you don’t want to spray this anywhere near the soil you plan on planting in as it could harm beneficial nutrients.