What is a Weed
What is a weed?
A plant growing in the wrong place (Anon).
A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
Weeding can be very time-consuming, and to reduce this, especially in the early stages while the shrubs are getting established, it’s important to have a good variety of ground cover plants. If you are sure you won’t want to move the plants, or add more, bark chippings are excellent for keeping down weeds and they also givean elegant finish when planting is complete. But bark flakes are not advisable if you are still undecided about the placing of plants, and are best for beds containing flowering shrubs.
Large round cobblestones placed together between the shrubs also make excellent ground cover and weed deterrent. They keep the weeds out, the moisture in and look very attractive between small plants. They are best on veryas they could sink into mud. Should weeds come up between the cobbles, they are very easily pulled out.
There are times when chemicals are necessary and we have to rely on them to do the work for which hands may not have time. A case in point is getting rid of couch grass, every gardener’s nightmare.
If used as directed, Weedout is a safe and effective chemical and, amazing though this may seem, does not harm the neighbouring plants. One sachet in a watering can full of water as directed, will soon see the couch grass withering away. This saves hours of intensive weeding, and, unless it is done meticulously with every underground root or rhizome of couch grass teased out of the soil (and then burnt), this persistant weed will soon reappear and spoil the bed again.
For those who enjoy weeding, couch grass and ground elder (which does not respond to Weedout), the two most resilient of weeds, are extremely satisfying to ‘manhandle’! I have to confess that if I have time on my hands (which is rare) after a good rainfall, there are few jobs I find more rewarding.
The other garden enemy, ground elder, can also be disposed of with chemicals if weeding by hand does not appeal. Spray the ground elder leaves in early autumn, three times (once a week for three weeks) with Tumbleweed. Do not pull out or touch after spraying, just let the chemical work its way into the root system and slowly destroy the plant. It will die away and should not reappear the following spring.