Weeds in the garden are a nuisance. They steal nutrients and water from the other plants, attract bad bugs into the garden and sometimes smother everything.
Once you have weeds in the garden, you have to start ‘weeding’ regularly to stop them from taking over.
There are a two ways that you can get rid of weeds in the garden. You can pull them out or you can kill them.
To pull weeds out, you have to make sure that you get the roots and all otherwise they will just regrow. So, use a small hand shovel to loosen the soil under the weed and then use your other hand to pull the weed out. Shake the soil off and put it in a bucket.
Finish your weeding session by using a hand hoe to lightly dig around the topsoil which will get rid of any tiny seeds that are thinking of germinating.
Never leave the weeds lying around on the ground as their seeds might spread through the garden and definitely don’t put them in the compost! The seeds might not break down enough and so when you spread the compost, you might spread the seeds as well.
Weeds can be killed using ‘herbicides’ which are chemicals designed especially for that job but some of these should only be used by an adult wearing rubber gloves. But, there are some organic weed killers which are very safe for you, but not safe for weeds! One of them is a mix of salt and vinegar which dry the weeds out and is worth looking for at the hardware store or garden centre. Get your mum or dad to check the packaging to make sure it is safe for you to spray and always follow the instructions.
Another interesting way to kill weeds is to cook them! It’s called solarising and it’s a great way to kill lots of weeds that have taken over a section of the garden where no other plants are growing. It is pretty easy to do but it does take a long time. To solarise weeds, water the area lightly so that the soil is damp then lay a large piece of clear plastic over the top. Use pieces of timber or bricks to weigh down the sides so that it doesn’t blow away. Then wait. In fact, you have to wait for around 4 to 6 weeks.
Can you guess what happens? The sun’s rays heat up the space under the plastic until the weeds cook and the soil gets really hot. Of course, it works best in summer when the weather is at its hottest.
Once the weeds have all been killed, remove the plastic and use a rake to collect them all up and put them into the bin. Add some compost and wetting agent into the soil before planting other plants into it.
This young gardener is using the hand shovel to dig right underneath the weed to pull out the roots as well. This makes sure that the weed doesn’t grow back.