What is the Right Weed Control Plan for Your Garden
Weeds are only plants growing in the wrong place. In the garden the appearance of weeds is inevitable, and prevention and control are part and parcel of gardening. Different methods of control suit different situations. Here is a guide to selecting the right weed control methods for your garden.
Weeds in Borders
Because the soil is often bare between plants in borders, there is opportunity for weed seeds to germinate and emerge. Whatever method of control you choose, the weeds will most easily be controlled when they are young.
- Mechanical removal using McGregor’s digging and hand tools is easy when the weeds are young and not to closely associated with your desirable plants.
- Soil safe herbicides such as McGregor’s Weed Out weed killers can be carefully applied to the weeds.
- The use of weed mat or mulching with a thick layer of chip bark or other weed suppressing mulch will help stop further weeds emerging. It also helps retain soil moisture; but take care not to pile the mulch against the stems of desirable plants.
Weeds in Vegetable Patches
- Mechanical removal is usually the preferred method of control around vegetables. As in borders it is easy when the weeds are young and not to closely associated with your vegetables. It can be difficult to differentiate your young vegetables and young weeds so make sure you mark the rows of vegetables, so you don’t accidentally dig them out.
- Some herbicides are registered for use around fruit and vegetables and can be carefully applied to the weeds.
Weeds in Pots and Planters
- Mechanical removal can be more difficult for mature weeds in pots and planters because of the restricted access. McGregor’s hand tools can make the task easier.
- Where roots of perennial weeds are hard to manually remove it is often preferrable to carefully apply soil safe herbicides that will be translocated to the roots and kill them, preventing re-sprouting.
Weeds in Paths, Patios and Driveways
- Mechanical removal may not be possible when weeds appear in the cracks between pavers of paths and patios or in your asphalt drive. Even in gravel areas, digging weeds out can be a difficult task. In such places the use of long term pre-emergent herbicide such as McGregor’s Path & Patio is likely to be the best option. Long term herbicides should not be used in places that are to be cultivated.
Weeds in Lawns
- Weeds in lawns are usually broadleaf plants or coarse grasses that look out of place in the lawn or outcompete the lawn grass. Because they are closely associated with the lawn grass, they must be selectively controlled, either with a selective herbicide, spot treatment or manual removal.
- Selective lawn herbicides such as McGregor’s Lawn Weed Control kill broadleaf weeds without harm to the grass.
- Coarse grasses should be spot treated with soil safe herbicide such as McGregor’s Weed Out. Note: Weed Out will kill lawn grass it is applied to.
- Manual removal using tools like the McGregor’s Garden Weeder can be an effective method of control so long as all the weed root is removed. But it might be impractical for large lawns with many weeds.
- Change the conditions in the lawn to prevent weed return. Fertilise your lawn grass and let it grow longer so that the lawn grass outcompetes the weeds. Sweeten the lawn soil by raising the pH with lime. Lawn soil pH should be 6.2-7.0. This will also help stop many weeds growing.
Weeds in Waste Places
- Waste places aften provide larger and more difficult to control weeds the opportunity to grow and take over. Herbicides such as McGregor’s Woody & Scrub and Weed Out Advanced are good options for such weed control.
- Mechanical removal of larger weeds may require McGregor’s digging tools to dig out the weeds, roots and all. Scrub cutters may clear an area, but roots that remain are likely to re-sprout quickly.
- Once the weeds are controlled, consider what to do with the waste place and how to prevent weeds returning.