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How To Prevent Weed Growth In Borders

Why would you want to prevent weed growth in borders?
Not only do weeds look unsightly, they compete with other plants for light, nutrients, water and space. Shrubs, herbaceous perennials and bedding pants will start to suffer if they do not have enough of these things. Weeds can also grow quickly to take over the border and smother everything else in it. 

What can I do to keep weeds under control?
You can put down bark or mulch. This looks attractive and will also surpress weeds. There is also the added bonus of keeping water in the soil as it reduces the amount that will be evaporated. This is great if you don’t want to constantly go out and water. 

Weed control fabrics are brilliant at keeping weeds at bay. It can be easily cut to shape and pegged down. If you use a correct membrane it will still let water pass through it to get to the plant roots. The membrane will prevent weeds from growing through but will also keep moisture in. It can also be covered with a decorative layer of bark or gravel to make it look more attractive. 

Hand weeding or hoeing is another way of keeping weeds down but can be time consuming and strenuous. Hand weeding may seem like a tedious job but it is a good way to keep an eye on your plants. If you are handling them, touching them, looking at them, you are more likely to notice any pests and disease that have begun and you will be able to deal with it quickly. Hand weeding will remove the weeds completely, especially perennial weeds if you can remove the roots, they are less likely to grow back. By using a hoe you are disturbing any seedling so that they will no longer grow. Even perennial weeds can be eradicated by regular hoeing.

 Weeds will quickly spread from other areas of your garden. If you have a lawn which comes up to the edge of your border the weeds from your lawn will easily spread. You need to keep lawn weeds under control to avoid them spreading to borders. Some weeds have roots which grow underground and you cannot see them until they pop up in your borders. Keep an eye out on surrounding areas such as fence lines, hedgerows and open ground as they can be a haven for weeds.

Ground cover plants are a brilliant way of keeping weeds down. They will smother unwanted germinating weeds and also look far more attractive.

 

How can I control weeds in borders with chemicals?
There are a few chemical weedkillers that can be used. A glyphosate weedkiller such as Round up or Clinic can be very carefully used. This is a total weedkiller and will kill everything it touches, therefore care must be taken to apply it to only the weeds you want to kill and nothing else. Ideally it should be applied with a weed wiper so that the chemical can be accurately touched on selected foliage.

 

Flexidor or Propyz can be used around a range of trees and shrubs safely. It will create a residual barrier on the soil to prevent new emerging weeds. 

Gemstone granules can also be scattered around the surface of the soil of trees and shrubs during October to February. Existing weeds will be killed and it will also prevent any others germinating.


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