Gardening: Matt James shares his tips for removing weeds
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Weeds are an incredibly annoying sight for both amateur and professional gardeners. It’s essential that you get rid of weeds as soon as possible, as they could damage your turf. But how are you supposed to know when to start weeding your lawn?
Weeds are defined as a type of plant that starts to grow in areas where they actually aren’t wanted.
They’re not always an eyesore, either, and could include some common, everyday wildflowers.
But if you’re trying to keep your garden healthy, you should aim to remove weeds as soon as possible.
They can damage the health of the plants around them by using up nutrients in the soil, as well as taking some of the accessible sunlight.
There are three main signs that you need to start weeding your lawn.
Firstly, your grass may start to look unusually patchy in some places.
For example, the turf might start growing unevenly, or it could have a different colour.
You might also notice random wildflowers growing in the middle of the grass, including dandelions, buttercups or daisies.
Finally, if there’s a particularly dry season without much rain, you might also notice the grass remaining bright and green, despite not getting much water.
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“Early identification and prompt removal can alleviate large-scale problems,” said the Royal Horticultural Society.
“There are several ways lawn weeds are often noticed. The grass may look patchy, have an uneven growth rate or simply include areas that are a different colour or texture to the rest of the lawn.
“Flowers appear in the grass. This can occur even in a closely mown lawn, but often appears when the grass is allowed to grow longer.
“Patches may remain green during a drought. Lawn weeds may perform better or worse than the lawn grasses, staying green or turning brown.”
The easiest way to remove weeds is to simply pull them out by hand.
The longer you leave it, the easier they will be to remove as the soil becomes looser.
But while the job will be quicker and easier, your lawn will become increasingly damaged, so it’s best to put up with the hard work and get it out the way.
Alternatively, try packing your garden and lawn as much as possible to crowd out the weeds.
Your garden may be more likely to develop weeds if you usually cut your grass quite short.
Weeds find it easier to outcompete the grass for sunlight and soil nutrients when the turf is very short.
Let the lawn grow a little longer, and then cut it on a higher setting.
Not only will it make it harder for weeds to thrive, but it’ll make your grass appear healthier.
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