Good For Large Areas

13 Draper stainless steel cultivator



14 Spear and Jackson Neverbend cultivator


15 Wolf soil miller + 140cm wooden handle

£36.99 + £


16 Gardena star tiller + 150cm Ergoline handle

£31.99 + £



Weeds are the bane of gardeners everywhere, whether popping up in the veg garden, paths, drives or among ornamental plants. As a result, weedkillers are the most popular 'pest control' products sold by garden centres across Britain - in fact we spend millions of pounds on them each year.

Of course, weedkillers offer just one way of controlling these unwanted plants. There are plenty of other methods for reducing the nuisance that weeds cause in terms of crowding out less vigorous cultivated plants, harbouring pests and diseases as well as competing for water and nutrients. Methods such as using natural or man-made mulches, hoeing or burning are all effective in their own right for those who prefer not to use chemicals. But for others, using a combination of non-chemical and chemical products in a timely manner can go a long way to reducing the problem for us and our plants - not to mention reducing backache and wasted time.


These are weeds which germinate, grow and set seeds within a single growing

LEFT Bittercress is a prolific annual BELOW LEFT Chickweed seeds freely BELOW RIGHT Biennial groundsel harbours rust disease


There are three different types of weeds and it is a good idea to try and identify which you have in order to pick the most appropriate control. You don't necessarily need to be able to name it, if it is deep-rooted, tough and quickly pops up again if hoed or pulled up, then it is likely to be a perennial. If it grows very quickly and forms spreading patches, flowers when small and produces lots of seeds, it is likely to be an annual. Biennials often stay green and grow slowly through the winter.

season. However, because they grow so very quickly and flower at such an early stage in their life cycle, they are often capable of producing a number of generations, and many thousands of seeds, in a single season. Contact weedkillers (see page 53) and most non-chemical methods will control these weeds.

LEFT Bittercress is a prolific annual BELOW LEFT Chickweed seeds freely BELOW RIGHT Biennial groundsel harbours rust disease

Nettles are a perennial weed


As above, but take two years to complete their life cycle. Biennials are not nearly as common as annuals, but there are some important weed species nonetheless. Perhaps the most common is groundsel and although not as prolific as some other weeds, because it over winters it does have the added distinction of being an important carrier of rust disease, and other pests and diseases. Contact weedkillers and non-chemical means of control should keep it at bay.


Plants which live for more than two years -and this group can include plants which are short-lived perennials perhaps only surviving for three years or more to tree seedlings which go on to live for several hundreds of years. This is the most difficult type to control due to the deep roots produced. Systemic weedkillers and digging to remove the roots and underground storage organs are most effective here.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment