Alan Titchmarsh on dealing with annual and perennial weeds – ‘don’t compost them!’

Alan Titchmarsh shares advice on tackling weeds

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Weeds are a nuisance in all gardens as they prevent other plants from growing. Luckily, many expert gardeners have shared tips on how to deal with weeds, including how to get rid of them safely and without chemicals.

One gardener to share tips on how to remove weeds from your garden is Alan Titchmarsh.

In a 2016 video made for Gardeners’ World, Alan explained the difference between annual and perennial weeds and how to treat both.

He said: “There are two main different kinds of weeds in your garden.

“The first type are the annuals that come up one year, seed and then die.

“The second lot are the perennials which are indeed a perennial nuisance. They come up every year, generally with fat underground roots that last for years on end.”

Alan gave two examples of annual weeds: hairy bittercress and groundsel.

He said: “Hairy bittercress is often called the garden centre weed because you’ll find it in pots that you buy in most garden centres.”

The gardener recommended pulling these weeds out because if you leave them to carry on, they will perennate themselves by seed.

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Alan explained: “They will sprinkle seed everywhere.

“There is a saying, one year seed, seven years weed.

“Pull them out, pop them on the compost heap before they seed.”

The horticulturist then went on to talk about perennial weeds, such as the dandelion, the nettle, and the buttercup.

He said: “Buttercup spread not only by thickish roots but also by runners.”

Alan advised taking out the buttercups completely, as well as their roots because “they too might have buds on them”.

He recommended doing the same with dandelions as their roots will “just send up another shoot”.

“So it’s important with all these thick-rooted weeds that they come out completely and that you don’t compost them because you then put the compost back on the garden, and if it hasn’t heated up enough, you’re just reintroducing the weeds [to the garden],” Alan said.

He added: “So with the annuals, get rid of them before they seed.

“With the perennials, get those roots right out of the ground.

“And then all the plants you want to grow will have a much easier time of it.”

There is no right time to remove weeds from your garden – you can treat them all year round.

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