Ask any gardener what their biggest nuisance is and many are bound to say weeds. The satisfaction of a weed-free garden after hours spent clearing can be all too quickly replaced by frustration as they reappear and thrive time and time again, so gardeners have many questions about garden weed control.
Understanding different types of weed
Knowing which weeds you are dealing with can help understand the best way to tackle them. Weeds are either annual, biennial or perennial.
- Annual weeds germinate, grow, mature, produce seed and die in one year or less. They can be either be winter annuals or summer annuals, depending when they mature. They are easiest to control at their seedling stage.
- Biennials complete their growth in two years. In the first year, it produces leaves and stores food. In the second, it produces fruits and seeds. Again, they are easiest to control in the seedling stage.
- Perennials are plants that live for two or more years. The plant part allows them to spread without producing seeds and so they can be the most difficult to control.
Can weeds be stopped for good?
The idea of permanent weed eradication is an appealing one. But whatever weeds you have in your garden, a permanently weed-free garden is almost impossible to achieve. Even if you take measures to reduce the weeds by using protective membranes, chemical controls, close planting and hand-weeding, birds will continue to drop seeds on your garden and introduce weeds back. It’s also difficult to remove a weed entirely. If even just a small part of their root remains, they can grow and thrive again.
What’s the best way to keep weeds under control?
Weed prevention is a good method to reduce garden weed growth. Starving weeds of the light they need to grow is an effective way to help manage their resurgence. A weed control membrane achieves this, leaving gardeners with just the surface weeds to tackle. Depending on which area of your garden is troubled with weeds, you’ll need a slightly different membrane:
- Weedtex and Landtex are suitable for controlling weeds in plant beds. Landtex a thicker membrane than Weedtex that’s more suitable for particularly troublesome areas. These membranes allow liquid feed, water and air to permeate and maintain fertile soil, but weeds do not get the vital light they need to grow. After a weed control fabric is fitted, a layer of bark, mulch, cobbles or stones is laid, which also helps protect against weeds.
- Groundtex is a woven geotextile that can be used in both soft and hard landscaped areas, for weed control and ground stabilisation purposes. It’s tougher than other membranes, making it suitable for use with stone coverings, including sharp, angular stone such as plum slate.
To check which weed control or geotextile fabric is most appropriate for weeds in your garden, use the Growtivation Geo Fabric Product Selector or look at our Weed Control FAQ. Find out more about the Growtivation Product That Works range by downloading our Product Guide and your free copy of our Landscaping That Works guide to weed control and geotextile fabrics.