Clear weeds - 16 tips on weed control
Weeds in the lawn or between pavers in the garden are common. Here you get tips on effective weed control so you can get rid of the weeds in your garden.
What are weeds?
Weeds are what that grows in your garden that you don't like. Yes, your unwanted vegetation maybe what someone else likes! It simply depends on the type of garden you want, a more tidy one or a wilder one. Weeds are therefore not only negative and many are also useful for insects, birds and mammals, even if they're just a problem for you.
There are two varieties, seed and root. The seed weeds come flying in the air from plants or are stored in the soil. The root varieties spread underground. In general, seed weeds are easier to remove than root weeds, read our tips below!
Five common weeds
The dandelion is a stubborn rascal. It spreads quickly with the help of its flying seeds which like to land and form new plants where you least want them. The leaves of the dandelion lie close to the ground, so cutting it down doesn't help to get rid of it in the lawn. It's the root that must be dug up with a shovel or with special tools.
Couch grass in gardens are above all a problem in perennial beds. Keep after couch grass by loosening the soil and removing by hand.
Goutweed aka Bishop's weed can quickly cover large areas if you leave it alone. The easiest way to get rid of it is to cut it down often. It won't have the strength to come back to the same extent. If you get goutweed in your flower beds, you can also dig it up.
Moss is annoying to those who want a nice even lawn. It spreads in the shadiest and wettest parts of the plot and especially in the spring. When you take care of your lawn by liming, fertilizing and aerating it, the grass can usually conquer the moss.
Chickweed is a delicate looking light green weed that often spreads in flower beds and pots. It gets tangled but loosens quite easily so it's not difficult to remove. And you should remove it because otherwise it can suffocate the plants around it.
How to conquer weeds
If you want to control what grows in your garden, you need to get rid of the weeds that would otherwise take over. The strongest survive and weeds are often real survivors who compete with other plants if you don't keep track and are actively weeding. Start weeding in the spring and then make additional efforts every couple of weeks. Weed when the soil is moist as they loosen more easily than if the soil is dry. There are a number of different ways, means and tools that you can use.
Tips on how to get rid of weeds
Weed by hand
Weeding by hand is a good method against the smallest weeds. A cushion or knee pad to relieve the knees with, well-fitting garden gloves and a good audiobook and it can even be a nice activity.
Clean with hand tools
There are many different hand tools for weeding. Everything from dandelion tool, weed hoe to wheel hoe. They require some physical effort but work well on not too large surfaces.
If you have larger areas with weeds, it may be a good idea to use machines instead of hand power. When row cultivating, a cultivator can come in handy. With your regular lawnmower, you get rid of the weeds that don't like to be cut, such as goutweed and nettles. After a number of cuts, they don't have the strength to come back to the same extent and over time you get rid of them.
Covering the ground where you have large amounts of weeds is a method that can work well but it's not so attractive to see in your garden. It's recommended when you have a hidden area where the ground cover can stay outside the daily field of view. To cover the ground you use for example, plastic, tarp or newspapers that dosn't let light through. Ground covering is a slow method that can take months and sometimes years.
Vinegar against weeds
Vinegar has many uses and you can use so-called weed vinegar on your plot. It's a method that's suitable where the weeds are concentrated on a surface without other vegetation that you want to keep. Vinegar also affects what grows nearby and it's difficult to be very precise when you only want to treat the weeds. For example, treat between pavers on a terrace and in gravel paths with weed vinegar.
Salt against weeds
A method that's not recommended is salt against weeds. Coarse salt can be used for example in paving stones and the like, but when the salt is watered down, it affects the soil in a negative way. High salinity gives plants that you want to maintain poorer conditions to absorb nutrients and water from the soil.
Weeds in the lawn
There's a lot that thrives in your lawn aside from the grass itself. Dandelion, plantain, reef buttercup, clover and moss are some of the unwelcome guests. They spread to your lawn in many different ways. They may have already been in the ground when the lawn was laid out and have waited their time. Seeds can rest underground for a long time to be suddenly activated when they get optimal conditions. They can also be introduced via animals that spread seeds, machines and tools that have come into contact with weeds, with materials that you dress the lawn with or if you are unlucky with your grass seed mixture. With a lot of weeds in your lawn, it becomes more susceptible to disease and less durable so it's worth maintaining. The goal when caring for your lawn is that the grass should simply conquer the weeds.
Tips on how to remove weeds from the lawn
Weeed by hand
Not the most fun job but weeding by hand is a good method. With a so-called dandelion tool, you get far. Put on your headphones and knee pads, listen to a podcast and get started!
Fertilizing in connection with sowing the lawn and then regularly during the growing season is a good way to speed up the lawn growth and to maintain it. The grass gains strength and has a greater opportunity to grow strongly and thus eliminate the unwanted vegetation.
Adjust the cutting height
On most lawnmowers, you have the option of adjusting the cutting height. Adjust the cutting height according to the season and thus influence how your lawn can withstand unwanted plants. You may be tempted to mow really short throughout the growing season to cut low-growing weeds, but this can have the opposite effect. When the grass is very short, the grass roots weaken and invite the weeds to take over. The first mowing in the spring is done when the frost has disappeared and the grass is dry. Wait with the first mowing until the grass has started to grow and is at least 6 cm long and never mow shorter than 4 cm. 4 cm is the right height in the spring and autumn, but in the summer you can raise it to 6-8 cm. Then the grass can continue to grow strongly and thus compete with the uninvited.
Aerating your lawn is a great way to stop weeds. If you have a small area of grass where a lot of weeds grow, you can aerate with a pitch fork. You stick the prongs down at 5 cm intervals over the grass surface and wiggle a little to form long narrow holes. Yes, as you can hear, this is not something you do over an entire residential lawn, on larger areas you can use a machine aerator that requires less physical work. When you aerate the lawn, oxygen is added, rainwater comes down to the roots more easily, the grass roots get better strength and can knock out unwanted vegetation.
In the spring, when the grass is to gain momentum after hibernation, it can be a good idea to rake the grass surface and thus give the grass roots space to spread out and compete with the weeds. Start raking when the soil has dried up completely, the grass is growing and the healthy grass roots have taken root. The goal of raking is to get rid of what is dead in the grass, the yellow straw-like. When you rake, you should use a rake with round sticks. Flat sticks risk tearing up grass roots that have not yet started to grow. Do not rake moss that easily spreads from the surface where it grows to other surfaces. You rather control moss through fertilization. It also often dries out a bit into the summer.
Edging the lawn can affect the amount of weeds in it. With edging, you cut off the unwanted that comes in from the adjacent surfaces and when you clear away what you have cut, you counteract the spread from flower beds and other surfaces. Edge cut in the spring and watch your lawn turning from fringed to well-groomed.
Weeds between the pavers
How wonderful to hang out on the patio in the spring and summer! Not as wonderful when weeds crawl between the stone slabs. Here are some tips on how to prevent, avoid and get rid of weeds between papers on the terrace.
Tips on how to remove weeds between pavers
If you're ready to build a new terrace, patio or walkway, take the opportunity to prevent now and you'll avoid problems later on. Lay out weed mat during your construction or paving. The weed mat prevents sunlight from reaching the soil and unwanted seeds to germinate. Make sure to overlap properly where you need to so that the sun doesn't reach after all and the vegetation finds a way up.
Remove with hand tools
There are several special tools for removing weeds between pavers, such as paving brush, patio knife and weed fork. They require a bit of physical effort and hand power but see it as an effective workout!
Remove with vinegar
Weed vinegar is an option that you can use to get rid of unwanted plants between the pavers. For example, use a sprayer to treat the gaps between the pavers. Vinegar also affects what grows in the surrounding area, so be sure to protect the plants you want to preserve. If you happen to spray or splash on the wrong spot, rinse thoroughly with water.
You can burn off weeds between pavers on your patio or in your pathway. There are electric weed burners that give a thermal shock which causes the weed's cells to break down. There are also gas burners that simply burn down the unwanted. Both are seen as effective in overcoming weeds between pavers.