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Working With Weeds

Mark Tregoweth
Mark Tregoweth

When one gardens weeds are another gardens blooms the question of what to weed and what not to weed becomes a murky one.

While no one wants to be a weed Natzi, a weed free garden has the potential to eliminate pests and problems and improve the overall appearance of your property.

Quick growing and persistent in their efforts to dominate, many species of weeds survive because of their ability to seed prolifically.

The use of chemicals and sprays can be worthy weapons in the fight to rid a garden of weeds but they also pose danger to other plants that they may come in contact with.

For many gardeners the only tools that fit the task of weeding are a garden fork and trowel and an eager pair of hands.

Like many other species of plants Weeds fall into two categories, annual and perennials. Weeds that appear in spring months are often annuals. The life cycle of annual weeds is limited to one season or a year at which point they seed ensuring they will rise again. In contrast perennial weeds have a longer lifecycle lasting more than one season and in some cases dying down in winter cooler months before making their presence known in spring.

The key to removing annual weeds is getting to them before they seed, reducing the chance of new seedlings arriving for the next season. Perennial weeds like dock, dandelion, oxalis, and couch require complete removal or they will quickly re-establish themselves.

While hand weeding is the best tool in maintaining a weed free garden regular mulching will prevents many seeds from germinating. A thick blanket of mulch will also make hand weeding easier as the weed roots come away cleanly.

Whatever the weed, persistence, determination, an eager pair of hands and an ever-vigilant eye will ensure gardens reach their potential weed free.
Common weeds
Chickweed, fathen, milkweed, groundsel
Oxalis, dock, lawn daisy, dandelion, convulvulus, couch, clover

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