How to kill weeds and stop them from growing

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  • Get rid of of unwanted weeds fast and for good with these useful tips

    It’s a bank holiday! And time to head outside, flex your green fingers and get gardening! Unfortunately whilst gardeners eagerly wait for this time of year, so do weeds, and the warmer temperatures lend themselves to providing the perfect growing conditions. But Ideal Home is here to help with our guide on how to kill weeds.

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    Weed removal is considered an essential part of maintaining a healthy garden, but it is also regarded as the most arduous gardening task. However controlling weeds doesn’t have to be difficult, tackling them in early summer will mean they will be much easier to manage throughout the rest of the season.

    Our top tips will help you get your greenery under control!

    1. Know what weeds you’re dealing with


    Image credit: Amateur Gardening

    Before removing any weeds, it is necessary to determine the species you are dealing with in order to ensure you choose the most effective method of removal.

    Weeds are classified under two main categories in regards to their growing characteristics – annuals and perennials. Annuals are those that grow and sprout quickly, which have an average lifespan of one year. Before they die they release hundreds of seeds which germinate and appear in the garden the following year. Common examples of annual weeds you might find in your garden are fat hen, chickweed, groundsel and hairy bitter cress.

    Perennial weeds on the other hand, return every year and typically develop extensive root systems, which make them extremely hard to eliminate. Examples of this type of weed are: creeping thistle, brambles, bindweed and ground elder.

    There are plenty of visual guides you can use to help, such as the RHS guide to identifying common weeds.

    2. Tackle annual and perennial weeds differently


    Image credit: Roundup

    Treating annual weeds before they set seed is essential to prevent them from spreading, so it’s good to have a spot treatment on hand.

    Try this: Roundup Fast Action ready-to-use weed killer 2.5ltrs, £12.97, B&Q

    Perennial weeds, on the other hand, need to be tackled from the root. You could dig these weeds out by hand, but make sure you get the whole root. Leaving even the smallest piece can allow the weed to regrow. Use a knife to loosen the soil and lever up individual weeds that grow in beds and paved areas.

    Alternatively you could use a specialist weedkiller that targets the roots.

    Try this: Fiskars weed puller, £29, B&Q

    3. How often should you weed, and when?

    The best approach to wage war on weeds is to make time for a weekly weed workout. Hoe the soil when the surface is dry, and on a hot sunny day, or when there’s a good breeze.

    4. How to kill weeds with weedkiller


    Image credit: Roundup

    Weedkillers, such as Roundup and Resolva, kill them from the inside out. When sprayed onto the leaves of the weed, they are absorbed and transported to the growing points of the plant – including the roots.

    ‘But it’s important to note that weeds will only take up the weedkiller when they are actively growing,’ says Janne Hasen, Controls Category Manager for Roundup. ‘Which is why treatment during the warmer months is recommended. Also, spot weedkillers are not selective and will kill any plant they touch, so be careful when applying them,

    Penetration through the leaves takes some time and effectiveness can be reduced if it rains within six hours of application. Weedkiller should therefore be applied on a dry calm day in order to achieve the best results.

    5. How to kill weeds on a lawn


    Image credit: Brent Darby

    Any patch of grass will act as a magnet for unwanted plants, making it virtually impossible to stop seeds from infiltrating and germinating amongst the blades of grass. Good lawn maintenance can help though. Remove space for weeds to flourish by mowing regularly and over-sewing bare patches with grass seed.

    Hand weeding can be a faff, but it’s a good – and natural – way to stop a small group of weeds to spread. You might want to invest in a daisy grubber – the classic two-pronged tool with a lever action for pulling daisies and other weeds out of a lawn without spoiling the grass.

    For larger infestations, you’ll need to use a selective weedkiller that won’t kill the grass. Granular selective weedkiller is often combined with a lawn feed and conditioner, and is supplied in ‘easy-flow’ pans. These kill weeds and moss, and feed the grass, too. they’re easy to apply and work well.

    Alternatively, water-on selective weedkillers contain a range of chemicals to target specific weeds. They are relatively cheap and are easy to use.

    Try this: Evergreen complete 4 in 1 lawn care tub, £10, Wickes

    Take that pesky weeds! Follow our tips and we guarantee a garden free of plant interlopers for years to come.

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