Weeds are a problem for gardeners across the world. Some plants grow very quickly and self-seed, and once they take a hold, they can be difficult to get rid of. It’s fair to say that some of them do have pretty flowers, but the problem is they spread across areas you don’t want them.
Your beautifully cared-for rose bed, for example, or a vegetable patch. You don’t want weeds on either of these, as they take the nutrients for themselves and stunt the growth of your prized plants.
Weeds come in a variety of types. Some grow short and can make a beautiful lawn look messy and unkept, while others grow tall and make an untidy addition to your flower borders.
What’s the answer? Regular weeding is one – nettles and such can be pulled easily, and it is important to get to the roots – and weed killer is another. But, isn’t there some controversy about weed killers? Don’t they use dangerous chemicals?
The Glyphosate Problem
Some do use a substance called glyphosate which while effective in killing weeds, may be harmful to pets and – in larger doses – to humans. Beyond that, there is great concern that glyphosate contaminates the ground it is used upon and can also get into the watercourse.
In rivers, streams and lakes it will be harmful to aquatic life. It’s a substance used in great quantities across the world, by commercial entities as well as in domestic gardens, and there are moves to ban the use of glyphosate in weed killers in many countries.
One problem is that as it is known to be effective on a wide number of weeds, glyphosate is favoured by gardeners. However, it must be used carefully as it will also kill many of the plants you are cultivating should it stray upon them.
What’s the answer here? The solution is to use a safe weed killer and there are many to choose from. These do not use glyphosate – in fact, many are chemical-free – and while the jury remains out on the effectiveness of some, it is worth trying if you have concerns.
The fact is that any chemicals we use freely and allow to get into the earth will be causing a problem of some kind, hence we must regulate that situation. It’s up to us as gardeners to do our bit, so we recommend you read through the reviews of safe weed killers and try a couple.
Choose a corner of your garden to work with and see what happens. The effect will not be as fast as with a glyphosate product, but you will find one that does the job.
Further Tips for Combatting Weeds
In addition to regular weeding – every time you walk around the garden pull out any weeds you see as you go, and make sure you get the roots – there is one thing you can do that helps with weeds: plant some ground cover plants that will take up the space the weeds want to use.
There are many attractive plants that grow low and wide and cover the ground, leaving less space for weeds to cultivate. Geraniums are a good example and they can be very attractive.
With your lawn, keep it mowed neatly to deter weeds, as you will damage the grass if you use weed killer on it. The trick is to be vigilant where you see weeds, and to find a non-toxic weed killer that does the job. Check them out now and have a trial run with one or two, and you’ll start seeing the change very quickly.