Weeds look unsightly, and
some of the more pernicious types, such as ground elder and bindweed,
can swamp a bed or border within one season if left unchecked.
- Start weeding early, before weeds have a chance to flower and spread
- Remove the whole weed, roots, stems and all. Some stubborn perennial
weeds, such as couch grass and bindweed, spread by underground roots and
stems. Others have a deep taproot, like dandelions. Try to dig out
every bit of these weeds, as they can regrow and reproduce from even a
tiny piece of root.
- Use a glyphosate weedkiller for perennial weeds; it will spread from
the leaves to kill the roots, breaking down in the soil without harming
other plants. It is available as a liquid, or a paint-on gel for weeds
in borders. Cover surrounding plants when applying to ensure that it
does not touch them.
- Avoid harming other plants when removing weeds; digging the soil
between plants can damage roots and will bring more weed seeds to the
surface to germinate. When weeds are close to other plants, hoe as
shallowly as possible, and remove weeds carefully by hand to minimize
- Lay a weed-suppressing mulch to exclude light if your soil is full of weeds. Weed seedlings need light to grow, so this should stop any further ones from appearing.
- Slice the roots just under the surface when hoeing off annual weeds. Hoe on a dry day, leaving the weeds to wither, then compost them.
- Stepping stones in beds and borders allow you to keep off the soil while you weed, reducing soil compaction and the need to dig.