What You Should Know About Hand Weeding and Hoeing March 23 , 2017

The best way to tackle weeds in a border is to hand weed. If the soil is loose or there is a good depth of mulch on it, this may simply mean pulling the weed gently out. If, however, there is a possibility of the weed breaking off and leaving its roots in the soil, use a hand fork or trowel to loosen the soil first.


If a plant becomes infested with a persistent perennial weed, such as couch grass, then it is best to dig the whole plant out, wash the soil off the roots, remove the weed and replant the plant.


If you try to remove the couch grass while the plant is still in the ground, then the pieces of weed that grow through it will only regenerate and you will have to start again. Some gardeners like to use a hoe to weed their beds, but this can be as dangerous as chemicals.


In the late winter, as the plants are just appearing through the soil, it is a good idea to fork the soil over lightly, working in well rotted organic material as you go. As you do this, you can easily pull out any weeds that are present. FORGE


So often, fragile new shoots or even whole plants get hoes off a fraction of a second before you realize that they are not a weed, leading to many lost plants and a considerable amount of bad temper.


The other problem is that, although hoeing can be effective for annual weeds, it is no good just cutting off the top of perennial weeds, you need to get the roots out as well. Composted bark mulch will suppress weed growth but clean the ground well beforehand.

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