Methods of Weed Control

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Weed Control in Perth gardens

The dreaded W-word… A constant thorn in the side (and eyes) of gardeners everywhere.

Ironically, a lot of our common weeds today were introduced by early settlers in Perth as garden plants! However, they took to our fair country much too well and are now prevalent enough to cause problems that are more than just their appearance. So really, a weed can be defined as any plant growing where it’s not wanted!

Weeds can have many negative effects on our gardens, such as:

  • Competing with our valued plants for water, nutrients and sunlight
  • Competing for space, crowding the roots and leaves of the plants around
  • Creating a fire hazard in our hot climate as they dry and die
  • Sheltering nasty pests and diseases
  • Using up resources – how much time and money have you spent on their control and eradication?
  • And of course, they can ruin the beauty of your carefully cultivated garden.

So how to control them? With time and attention folks.

Seeds can come from anywhere; your clothing, shoes, your lawnmower if it’s not kept clean, tools, tyres, even on the wind from your next-door neighbour’s yard.

Methods of removal:

  • By hand – the least attractive, but very effective option as you can be very sure you are removing not just the weed but the entire root. This also is best for working around delicate plants in hard to reach areas.
  • Tools – your good old hoes, trowels and forks, but only if there is enough space between each plant to ensure their safety.
  • Mechanical Cultivation – using a tiller for example, used in larger areas to break up and bury weeds.
  • Mowing – Using your mower is an other great way to break the weed cycle in your lawn, the trick is to cut your lawn before the weeds have a chance to seeds.
  • Mulching – this prevents most weed seeds from being able to germinate and reach the surface. If done correctly this is a very effective method, as well as being useful for the health and look of your garden.

NOTE: This only works for annual weeds (weeds that grow from seeds) not perennial weeds; these grow from underground root systems as well as from seeds, so the tiller will simply break these up and spread them around.

  • Natural eco-friendly solutions – there are a few eco-friendly gardening solutions when it comes to weed control, here is a list of the most common ones:
    • Boiling water – This is very efficient but requires a lot of time, imagine having to wait for the boiling jug to warm the water when you need to treat your driveway. This is more adapted to small areas
    • Vinegar spray – This seems to be a very efficient way of treating weeds, we’ve never tested that one but it is meant to work overnight. Let us know how this works for you.
    • Burning – This is very efficient but may not be the most sensible way of taking care of weeds especially in Perth dry climate. We strongly recommend NOT to use this as we wouldn’t like to be held responsible for wild bushfires.
    • Steam – This is a very efficient way of controlling weeds and is becoming more and more popular, especially amongst councils.
  • Weed killers chemicals – This is a very effective way of killing weeds but has a lot of downsides. First of all it is really bad for you, if you decide to use chemical weed killers make sure that your skin doesn’t get in contact with the chemicals; secondly it is bad for the environment, we strongly advise to call a licensed professional that will use the right amount of product and minimise the risks.

Make a Plan and know your enemy

  1. Carefully look at the area and identify what weeds are the main problem and what type they are, annual or perennial.
    • Knowing what you’re fighting will definitely give you a great strategic advantage, by knowing the life cycle of the weed you’ll know when to attack.
  2. Pick your method based on your garden and the result you want.
    1. Do you first need to rip out everything and spray the area before you can start again, or will a thorough weeding followed by a good mulch be enough to fix it?
  3. Commence mission WEED ERADICATION!
  1. Once you have completed your careful, and now well-educated method of weed removal, it is time to commence monitoring. Continue to stay on top of it with things like checking your garden and mowing your lawns regularly and making sure the layer of mulch stays the right thickness and is re-applied (in the case of organic mulch).

And if it’s all too much then just think, they used to be in some early settlers garden by design – maybe you too can learn to love them…

Just kidding!

You can always DELEGATE! We know how frustrating it is to spend time fighting this battle when what you really want to be doing is enjoying your garden! If you just can’t face it, check out our gardening packages and we might be able to take it off your hands.