Gardening expert shares best way to remove annual weeds from your garden – ‘job done!’

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Weeding is a laborious task that gardeners across the country will be tackling in the run-up to summer.  With this in mind, spoke exclusively to Chris Beardshaw, a regular panel member on BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time. The garden designer shared the best way to remove annual weeds from beds and borders in your garden. 

Chris said annual weeds are just emerging now after a long period of dry weather.

The recent heavy rainfall has allowed them to germinate in beds now.

For annual weeds, the gardening expert said you will want to wait for a dry day or a day when you have a couple of hours of warm sunshine before tackling them. 

He said: “Get your hoe out and just an old-fashioned onion hoe or Dutch hoe and sharpen it before you use it.

“Run a file along the blade and then it just cuts around those very soft and succulent stems – and it’s job done. 

“All you need to do through those beds and borders – whether it’s on your allotment or whether it’s in a herbaceous border – just go through and occasionally hoe until the border is completely covered in other plants. 

“So if you’ve got your herbaceous perennials and your bulbs and roses and so on all covering the ground then eventually that will suppress the germination of those annuals which need the moisture and light, essentially.”

For those currently tackling perennial weeds, Chris said you will need to start by digging out the root.

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He said: “If you’re dealing with perennial weeds then you certainly need to go in with the long haul.

“You need to dig out as much of the root as possible.

“What is useful about this recent period of wet weather is that the soil is now very loose.

“So it makes it very easy to drop a fork in and just gently lift the ground and just tickle the roots of the perennial weeds like your dandelions, thistles, docks and those sorts of things which incidentally, are all good indicators your soil fertility is high.

“That’s a positive side, they’re telling you that your soil is very fertile or they wouldn’t be there if that wasn’t the case.

 “But dig all those perennial roots out.”

Chris said if you don’t have a hot compost bed then you should put the weeds into your local authority green bin or an equivalent service that your local authority offers. 

“Allow them to compost them, don’t put them on your own compost heap,” he added.

With 28 percent of Britons becoming more interested in gardening over the past year due to the pandemic, it’s not surprising that more of us are trying our hand at planting. 

According to figures from YouGov, 60 percent of Britons said they have planted vegetables or herbs in the past year, and 65 percent said they had potted plants or flowers.

But it’s not just gardening itself that has experienced a surge in popularity over the last year. 

New data from digital subscription app Readly has revealed that interest in their gardening section has increased by 104 percent in the last year.

Readly is a digital subscription app that is a great source of inspiration for your garden, with unlimited reading to over 5,000 magazines and newspapers, including The Daily Express, and top gardening titles such as BBC Gardeners’ World, Modern Gardens and The English Garden.

Readly is giving two months of unlimited reading from May 17 to May 31, 2021, which will cost £7.99 a month thereafter.

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