With every new awakening after winter comes the weeds, and if you neglect to kill them off they will keep on multiplying, multiplying, multiplying…
Regard the chore of weeding your garden not as punishment, but as regular ‘me-time’ in the garden. Arm yourself with a sunhat, sunscreen and a few handy weeding tools like a sharp hoe and a daisy grubber to tackle the job effectively, with the following tips in mind:
1 Do not dig!
Ridding beds of weeds by regularly digging over the soil with a fork and then raking it vigorously might be a quick-fix and keep things neat for a week or two, but this is one of the worst things you can do in the long term.
By turning over the soil you are encouraging more weeds to germinate, as dormant weed seeds are brought to the surface and will germinate with pleasure when exposed to air, sun and water.
You are losing moisture by turning the soil and will thus have to irrigate more.
You are damaging shrubs that have shallow root systems close to the surface, such as tea bushes and fynbos.
You are damaging the soil’s structure and killing off many good soil organisms by exposing them to the sun.
2 Deprive weeds of light with good stuff
Using commercial mulches such as wood chips, pebbles, bark nuggets, peach pips or material like leaf mould, shredded prunings, compost, straw and even pine needles as a layer around existing plants goes a long way to curb pesky weeds. Just remember that they must be replaced regularly. Should small weeds appear from time to time, which cannot be helped as they are dispersed by wind or bird droppings, they can be easily plucked out with the help of a sharp weeding tool like a daisy grubber.
You can even go as far as laying cardboard or newspapers over the soil between young plants in newly planted up beds. Simply cover them up with thin layers of decorative mulch.
The result of all the above measures will be moist, cool and crumbly soil that will be easy to cultivate.
3 Use landscaping fabric
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