How to remove weeds and moss from lawns
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Garden weeds are persistent plants that will continue to grow back unless they are treated correctly. However, gardeners may want to think twice before grabbing a chemical weedkiller. Herbicides are designed to target plants but they can have an environmental impact.
Weedkillers can contribute to air, water and soil pollution. They can also have an impact on fish and other aquatic life.
Herbicides can contaminate the soil and rainwater which can then be carried to other areas like waterways which then end up being polluted.
Luckily, Head of Horticulture & Biodiversity at Trentham Gardens Carol Adams has shared her natural methods for getting rid of garden weeds.
Trentham is a 725-acre estate that has magnificent grounds and gardens with diverse habitats.
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Carol’s “key tip” was to try and get rid of weeds before they set seed which can cause them to germinate “for years to come”.
One of her hacks for suppressing weeds is to collect autumn tree leaves that have blown into the garden and then use them as mulch.
She explained: “Collect autumn tree leaves that are blown into your garden and make leaf mould/free mulch for your beds, as this will stop annuals from germinating.
“Look at mulching beds and borders to a depth of about five centimetres using well-composted bark mulch or fine wood chips.
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“You can make your mulch go further by making sure the soil is flat before you lay.
“Gently rake or walk the bed to get rid of larger clods of soil that would otherwise poke up through the mulch meaning you put thicker layers down.”
Carol also suggested using a “layer of cardboard” under the mulch so it’s more effective.
She suggested putting the cardboard under trees or large shrubs. However, she warned gardeners not to smother perennials or bulbs.
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She added: “Simply lay a layer of cardboard and then lay you woodchip or bark on top.
“It will suppress weeds and help improve the fibre content in the soil.
“If you are living by the coast, you could also collect seaweed after winter storms to use as a mulch layer, ideally after heavy rain so you are not bringing salt into in the garden.”
Fresh or dry seaweed can be used as a mulch on soil surfaces or even dug into soil.
Seaweed contains nitrogen, potassium, phosphate and magnesium which is essential for plant health.
Plants that particularly like seaweed include gardenias, camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons.
The seaweed should be applied or mixed in within 48 hours of it being collected as it can start to decompose if it’s left in a bag.
Do not wash it before applying it and then shred it so it can be easily used.
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