Carol Klein: Gardening expert on what ‘does more harm than good’ when weeding

Carol Klein explains the importance of judicious pruning

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Gardening expert Carol Klein has shared her weeding tips exclusively with Many keen gardeners are sticking on their wellies and getting out in the garden as the weather begins to thaw out in the UK. If you’ve found your garden littered with weeds, you may want to start removing them before spring.

But how can you remove weeds without harming your other plants?

Carol, who lives at Glebe Cottage in Devon, said if you’re not sure if it’s a weed or not, let it grow before removing it.

She said: “If in doubt, let it grow on for a bit until you’re pretty sure of what it is.

“It depends on your garden. If you’ve got a garden where things actually seed then it’s a good idea to wait a bit and just be careful.

“But I think a lot of these Google guides to weeds are really good.”

Carol recommended looking at guides on Google and weeding by hand.

She said: “Don’t use any kind of chemicals ever. I garden completely organically, I would never dream of doing anything else.

“The thing about weeding is you get down on your hands and knees and you get to know your plants gradually.”

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Carol said weeding can take up a lot of time but that it’s a good way to get to know your plants.

“Just avoid chemicals, you’ll do more harm than good,” she added.

There are two types of weeds that gardeners will come across, according to Carol – annuals and perennials.

Annuals will pop up and last a few months and sow their seeds.

Annual weeds include chickweed, groundsel, fat hen and hairy bittercress.

Perennial weeds can live for several years and are harder to get rid of.

Perennial weeds include brambles, dandelions, dock leaves and creeping thistle.

Gardeners need to ensure their roots are completely removed, otherwise they will grow back.

For pests, Carol said the best bet is to let nature take its course as insecticides often kill all insects, even those that are beneficial to the plant.

She said if you see green fly on plants then it’s best to just “brush them off” first and then use soapy water.

“Give then a good old douse with that,” she added.

Catch up on Gardening with Carol Klein on My5

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