Mulching involves covering the ground around plants with a thick layer of material that smothers weeds. Plus, mulch has the added benefit of helping the soil retain moisture. Use a layer from 4 to 6 inches deep of organic material, such as wood chips or composted leaves, to prevent weeds from growing. Or use a dark colored sheet of plastic mulch or landscape fabric with a thinner layer of chips on top to hide the unattractive material.
You have options when it comes to keeping your flower beds weed-free. The best way to minimize the weeds in your garden is to use all of the methods at your disposal, and to be persistent in your efforts, especially as you first start out. Keeping your flower beds relatively weed-free not only makes your job easier as a gardener, but it also helps keep your plants healthy without the added competition of unwanted weeds.
Heating the soil to kill weeds and weed seeds works before you plant flowers in the bed if you have a large area and plenty of time. Till the soil in the bed, rake it smooth, water it and cover it with clear, heavy-guage plastic, weighted down at the edges so it stays in place. Ensure that the area around it stays moist. It will take about eight weeks for the soil to heat enough to kill weed seeds.
Weeding by hand is most successful if you get the entire root of the weed and if you remove weeds before they have a chance to flower and spread seeds. Be diligent about weeding on a regular basis, and try to remove very small weed seedlings before they grow large by simply scratching the surface of the soil on a hot day with a hoe or pronged fork weeder; the sun will quickly dry out the small seedlings and their roots. For weeds with very deep roots or rhizomes that resprout with any portion left in the ground, continually cut the plants as low as possible. Eventually, after 9 to 13 bouts of weeding over two years, you’ll eradicate the weeds.
If you plant every inch of your flower bed with plants of your choosing, weeds will have nowhere to grow and your flower bed will appear lush and unified with the same ground cover plants weaving in and out among larger plants. For example, plant multiple clumps of Japanese sedge grass (Carex oshimensis), which grow 10 to 12 inches tall in USDA zones 5 through 9. Or strew seeds of Cineraria (Pericallis x hybrida), a member of the aster family with profuse brilliantly colored flowers that grow in USDA zones 10 through 12.
Leave weeds 7 days before digging or soil cultivation, for the weedkiller to move to the root. Best used in spring and summer.
Roundup Optima+ and Weedol RootKill Plus are systemic weedkillers. Systemic weedkillers are designed for tough as well as all round weed killing. They kill from the inside out – right down to the deepest root so weeds can’t re-grow.
The gel formulation sticks to the weed leaf and stays there, so there’s no dripping or running off onto the soil or surrounding plants. Simply click the button and apply all the gel that appears across the weeds leaves, then in the following days you will start to see the weed die off – Simple!
these concentrated systemic weedkillers can be applied either through a watering can or a pressure sprayer (check pack details for application methods) and are biodegradable. Children and pets need not be excluded from treated areas once the product has dried.
3. Weed on a dry and sunny day
Breaking up the roots of perennial weeds, like couch, ground elder and bindweed, leaves behind small pieces that can quickly grow into a new plant.
Blistered hands and aching backs are common complaints after digging or hoeing. Sometimes it is not only the gardener who is damaged. Digging and hoeing can damage the roots of wanted plants, reducing their vigour and encouraging the formation of suckers.
When digging out weeds or hoeing, the gardener will bring thousands of weed seeds to the surface where they will find the right conditions to germinate. This is not the case with chemical control which does not disturb the soil.
2. Use a gel weedkiller such as Roundup Gel
Few of us have enough time to do the jobs we enjoy, so finding a way of saving time on weeding is a big benefit. It is possible to treat large areas quickly and with little effort. Apart from the selfish benefit of saving time and effort, there are cultural benefits to using modern weedkillers.
Keeping weeds under control isn’t always a question of digging or spraying. A physical barrier (called a mulch) will also help to prevent weed seeds from germinating. This light-excluding layer on the soil surface can be of gravel, bark chippings or easily obtained organic matter.