Keeping Your Flowerbeds Weed-Free

You have a prized flower bed, with a wide variety of colours of flowers, timed so that there is always something pretty to look at throughout the year, and it is looking perfect. Why is it that weeds always come to spoil all the hard work that you put in Weeds are the gardener’s nightmare.

Part of the problem with weeds on a flower bed is that the soil is almost always of very high quality ? you have used fertilizer and compost to make a great growing environment. Then, you also cleared the area to make way for your new prized flowers and plants. Add to that your daily watering and regular nourishment of the soil and what you get is not only the ideal environment for your geraniums, delphiniums and peonies, but also the ideal area for fast growing weeds too!

Avid gardeners, who are regularly in the garden, will be able to spot the different growths of plants, and can quickly take out the unwanted young growths of weeds in a flower border. However, to the untrained eye, it is very difficult to spot the difference between a weed and the young shoots of your favourite plant. This is made ten times worse if you have gone for a ?random? or un-ordered layout of flowers, or if you have mixed your plant types together to give a stunning flower bed.

What is the gardener to do Weeds should be removed at the earliest possible opportunity, and this may be when the leaves start to take shape ? the more common weeds have very distinctive leaves and should be weeded out as soon as possible to allow the wanted flowers to grow through. It is vitally important to remove as much (all!) of the roots as possible, as even the smallest amount of root left in the ground can quickly grow back again.

Many weeds can leave seeds which are able to lie dormant for many years. Disturbing the ground by tilling may loosen these seeds and allow them to grow again. Think twice before digging deeply into the ground on a flower bed which was heavily covered in weed a year ago. One trick is to cover the ground in thick newspaper and then put a thick layer of top soil and compost on top. This way, the weeds underneath are unable to grow up through, yet you have not damaged the environment with any plastic layer.

Sometimes however, weeding by hand just isn’t enough. Once a flowerbed has many weeds in it, your only recourse will be to turn to chemical weed killers. Many of these are advanced enough to target only a specific type of plant ? you should look for weed killers which are designed for use on the flower bed, as these can leave your prized flowers untouched and yet still remove weeds.

It is important to be as careful as possible when using weed killers ? ensure that you only spray weeds ,as even the best weed killer will damage a wanted flower if you spray directly onto it.

Try to use a systemic weed killer, as this will help you greatly in the future. Systemic weed killers remove the top growth AND the root systems of weeds. This means that they are not able to grow back.

Fighting weeds is an ongoing task ? you will never completely win the battle against unwanted plants in the garden. Focus on removing the really damaging plants such as Japanese knotweed and bindweed at all costs, as these will come back year after year, if not dealt with effectively. You should also consider dealing with weeds as they come out. A garden is for enjoyment, and part of this enjoyment is taking a close look at your flower beds ? if you spot a weed, then out it comes!

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