Gardening tips: Keep weeds under control this spring – things to do in your garden now

Monty Don on gardening when 'life gets overwhelming'

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Weeds should be controlled whenever they are troublesome, and that is usually in the spring and summer months, starting from April. It is possible to remove weeds from your garden through methods other than chemical weedkillers, which are often cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has shared its advice on how to keep weeds under control in your garden this spring.

The organisation states that removing weeds is one of the most essential tasks to do in your garden in April.

There are many different types of weeds that grow in gardens and they can cause damage to plants as they compete with them for space.

If left alone, weeds can grow everywhere and attach themselves to the roots of plants, draining them of their nutrients and leaving them open for disease and infestation.

One popular way of removing weeds is to do so manually.

The RHS recommended running a hoe over a bed or between rows to kill weed seedlings.

For maximum effect, choose a dry day with a light wind, so that the seedlings will dry out on the surface of the bed rather than re-rooting inti moist soil.

You can also pull up weeds by hand before they start to seed, or you could use a fork if you don’t want to use your hands.

The RHS said that hand weeding should only be attempted where it will not disturb the roots of plants.

A weed knife is another useful tool to use to take out weeds as it as a hooked end and is handy for weeding between paving slabs.

Or, you can scorch off weeds between paving slabs and on driveways by blasting them with a flame gun.

In large weedy areas, cutting the weeds with a strimmer can be a good idea.

Using weed barriers and weed-suppressant fabrics are other ways to control the weeds in your garden.

Insert root barriers into the soil to stop the spread of perennial weeds going into neighbouring areas or gardens.

These barriers can also be used to restrict invasive plants such as bamboos, suckering trees, shrubs, and raspberries.

Some barriers can be made using corrugated iron sheets, or you can use a tough fabric such as Rootbarrier, which is available to buy from landscaping suppliers, like Green Tech.

Alternatively, using bark or weed chip to smother weeds around plants can also work.

To be effective, keep the wood chip topped up to a minimum depth of 10 to 15cm to smother annual weeds.

Weed-suppressant fabrics, on the other hand, are made of either plastic fibres, woven plastic strands, or plastic sheeting.

You can use these materials to lay over recently cleared soil to suppress the regrowth of old weeds and prevent new weeds from growing.

The RHS emphasised: “Repeated control measures are likely to be necessary – this is not a one-off garden task.”

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