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when do weeds stop growing uk

When do weeds stop growing uk

Upright annual or problem perennial weeds are normally a symptom of a neglected lawn. Feed the grass in April with lawn feed, then mow regularly throughout the season. Upright weeds can’t survive regular beheading and disappear naturally without hand weeding or weedkiller.

For large areas with lots of weeds, combined lawn feed and weed products are available. But wildflower lawns are a valuable wildlife resource (and very fashionable right now) so you might like to consider leaving the prettier plants.

When it comes to overgrown areas in the kitchen garden, use a long-handled chop hoe, which makes it easier to clear a lot of weed growth as you work, and make sure that you clear away fallen weeds so they can’t re-root.

Then re-seed any bare or balding patches in spring or autumn to prevent annual weeds colonising patches of bare soil.

Spot-treating individual problem weeds with weedkiller is risky in this situation as spray drift will affect nearby plants. Paint-on solutions can be used effectively, however.

Daisies are a key part of a fashionable and nature-friendly wildflower lawn [S MAG]

It’s a winner for planting the top of a wall or a low retaining wall holding back a slope, so the plants drape down in sheets of flower. It’s good for early pots and planters, plus it’s cheap enough that it can be treated as a disposable bedding plant if you wish (though it makes more sense to use it for containers first, then plant it out in the garden). It’s happy in any reasonably well-drained soil that’s not acid, in full sun.

In the kitchen garden it’s quite safe to dig in young annual weeds at the start of the season, before they produce seeds. They act like green manure, though you’ll need to wait a few weeks for them to rot away before sowing or planting. If you need the ground straight away, hoe the weeds off and rake up the remains.

Perennial weeds

When do weeds stop growing uk

Bare patches of soil will quickly be colonised by both annual and perennial weeds, so a well-stocked border is less likely to support a thriving population of these pesky plants. If you have gaps in your borders, plug them by planting ground covering plants.

A weed is technically just a plant in the wrong place. It could be an unwanted seedling from another plant, or something more pernicious and invasive that you really want to eradicate. However, while you’ll never be able to completely stop weeds from popping up, there are ways to ensure they have less places to grow.

Most weeds are easy to eradicate if spotted early enough and can be controlled without the use of chemicals.

Annual weed seeds can survive for years in the soil, waiting for the perfect conditions to grow. They germinate at lower temperatures than most garden plants and can grow and set seed very quickly. It’s important to recognise them at the seedling stage, so you can eliminate them without accidentally removing your flower or vegetable seedlings.

Prevention

Bare soil

When do weeds stop growing uk

Image credit: Roundup

Image credit: Amateur Gardening

Any patch of grass will act as a magnet for unwanted plants, making it virtually impossible to stop seeds from infiltrating and germinating amongst the blades of grass. Good lawn maintenance can help though. Remove space for weeds to flourish by mowing regularly and over-sewing bare patches with grass seed.

3. How often should you weed, and when?

Alternatively, water-on selective weedkillers contain a range of chemicals to target specific weeds. They are relatively cheap and are easy to use.

There are plenty of visual guides you can use to help, such as the RHS guide to identifying common weeds.

1. Know what weeds you’re dealing with

Perennial weeds, on the other hand, need to be tackled from the root. You could dig these weeds out by hand, but make sure you get the whole root. Leaving even the smallest piece can allow the weed to regrow. Use a knife to loosen the soil and lever up individual weeds that grow in beds and paved areas.

‘But it’s important to note that weeds will only take up the weedkiller when they are actively growing,’ says Janne Hasen, Controls Category Manager for Roundup. ‘Which is why treatment during the warmer months is recommended. Also, spot weedkillers are not selective and will kill any plant they touch, so be careful when applying them,