Easy Weeding

Easy Weeding

by Jez Hall

The other day my son said to me, "Dad, what's the difference between a plant and a weed?". Of course, being the font of all knowledge, I knew the answer but was not too sure how to pass this info on. It turns out, according to Google, a weed is just a plant growing in the wrong place. One writer even said that a rose would be a weed if it were growing in the middle of a poppy field. I'm not too sure about that, but one thing I do know is that my garden seems to attract weeds like wasps round a jam sandwich.

So how to get rid of them? For the lawn, one method I have found very satisfying is using an old-fashioned device from yesteryear that I picked up from a carboot sale. It is basically a pole with a nipping jaw on the end. Just aim it above the dandelion and push down, then lever to the side and pull up. The weed will be extracted from the lawn without you even having to bend down, and sometimes - this is the best bit - the whole root will come with it. I usually drop the weed and hoover it up with the mower later. You can fill the hole with a bit of soil and some seed if a large hole is left, but usually they heal up naturally by themselves.

Another easy method for dealing with individual weeds, without removing them this time, is to carefully pour a teaspoonful of salt on them. They really do not like that and will dry up in a day or so.

That's ok for spot weeding, but if you need a bit more intensive care for your lawn, I apply a granular weed 'n feed treatment every year. This solution will take care of the weeds and also tackles the dreaded moss. The other added benefit is that it will act as a feed and strengthen the lawn, ensuring the grass is greener and healthier. The best way to apply this is using a drop spreader - basically a trough on wheels that you can push along, dropping the granules evenly. It is better to do it this way, as applying too much to one area can result in scorching.

You will find that initially after a weed 'n feed treatment, the weeds appear to grow bigger! Do not be alarmed however, as they will grow themselves out and then wither.
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