Weedkillers - What to Use, Where & When
There are many varieties of Weedkiller out there on the market; sometimes it can be difficult to know which is right for your garden. However, if you follow our expert advice, you can’t go wrong!
Planting Beds and Borders
- Regular hoeing in between plants will prevent most weeds from establishing; this is ideal for in between plants in borders.
- Larger weeds can be pulled out by hand or lifted out with a trowel. However, it is important to make sure the root is completely out to prevent re-growth.
- Larger areas can be covered with plastic sheeting; this blocks out the light and prevents growth.
- There are three main types on the market.
- The most common is a systemic type; the active chemical used is glyphosate. This is absorbed by the plant and then kills it from the roots up. Roundup is the original branded product for this type.
- Contact weed killers work by damaging/burning the leaf and preventing it from photosynthesising and so killing it. Diquat based products such Weedol are of this type.
- Glyphosate and diquat are used in combination weedkillers. This burns the leaf within 24hrs and then kills from the root up. Resolva 24hrs is this type.
- New to the market and highly recommendable is Neudorff weedkiller, a combination type that is highly effective.
- These are all available in hand-held sprays and concentrates to dilute for sprayers and watering cans. All these products will kill anything they touch so apply carefully. Alternatively Roundup now do a gel for a more accurate application.
Paths and Driveways
- Boiling water poured onto weeds on a hot day damages the leaves and prevents photosynthesis so the weed slowly dies.
- Pulling weeds out by hand is always an option but can be back-breaking, and roots may be left in the ground.
- There are tools designed specifically to remove weeds from cracks in paving; these are ideal for block drives and patios.
- When ever you purchase any chemical for your garden you should always read the instructions on how the product should be applied.
- Correct application can make a tremendous difference to the results.
- A product designed specifically for paving and gravelled areas contains a systemic weed killer to kill the weed and an element which, when the weed dies, leaves a residue which affects the soil and prevents any new growth in that area.
- These products should not be used in planting beds.
- These are available in ready-made sprays and as solutions to dissolve in watering cans and sprayers. The dilutions are different for each type of application; correct dilution is important!
The removal of weeds from a lawn without the use of chemicals can be very tedious, and unless you require a bowling green, there is nothing wrong with the odd daisy in it. However, they can be pulled out by hand and there are a variety of tools to help you do this, from daisy grubbers to the new Fiskars ‘Lock and Load’ action weed-pullers. When larger weeds are removed they can leave holes in the lawn; a sprinkling of lawn seed will soon rectify this.
Weed killers designed especially for lawns are neither contact or systemic; they are hormone-based weed killers. This means that they damage only broad-leaf plants and don't affect the blade leaf of the lawn. If you were to use the incorrect product, the weeds in the lawn would die but you would be left with lots of brown patches.
It is important to buy the correct amount of product; working out the size of your lawn in square meters will help when choosing. For larger lawns, consider using a concentrate diluted into a watering can or sprayer. It is important not to store diluted product, make anew every time!
The two most common branded lawn weed killers are Verdone and Resolva for lawns.