Six weeding mistakes to avoid that lead to ‘tragic consequences’

David Domoney gives advice on weeding the garden

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Regularly getting rid of weeds goes well beyond aesthetics because these garden invaders compete with garden plants for water, nutrients, and light. If left unattended, aggressive weeds can totally overrun a garden smothering your favourite flowers or vegetables. Some weeds also can give diseases and pests a foothold to spread to your cultivated plants. Make things easier on yourself by avoiding these common weeding mistakes by gardening experts at BackyardBoss.

1. Not acting fast enough

The longer weeds grow, the more they spread, and small weeds are much easier to remove than big ones.

A spokesperson from BackyardBoss claimed: “The worst thing you can do is let the weeds grow. The moment they take over your entire garden, getting rid of them will be extremely difficult. 

“They will not only weaken your plants and make your garden look ugly but also grow long and strong roots that will be hard to tear out.”

Instead the expert suggested “the best moment to pull them out” is when they are small and have weak roots. They added: “That’s why it is crucial to act as soon as they appear.” 

Gardeners should walk around their garden once a week to check if they’re growing, and if they are, they need to extract them from the ground immediately.

2. Not recognising the enemy

Identifying weeds in the garden can help you figure out the best strategy for controlling them. The expert said: “You will be surprised how many types of weeds can find shelter in your garden. Even though they might look similar, they can be very different from each other.

“That’s why it is crucial to recognise what kinds of weeds you host in your garden to create a perfect strategy to control them. If you don’t know your enemy, you can cause more harm than good, and the consequences will be tragic.”

To combat this, gardeners should take a pen and a notebook, walk around their garden and list all the features of a given weed to determine its species later. After they can find plenty of important information on the best approach to fight it.

3. Using the wrong weeding tool

Gardeners might be tempted to just use one type of weeding tool on everything, but that’s not the best solution for all types of weeds or garden situations.

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Plus, there is also the temptation to tear out weeds by hand since they seem easy to pull. However, they will soon realise that this task is not only hard but also takes a lot of time, which can trigger frustration.

To avoid this happening the expert advised gardeners to prepare in advance. They said: “There is a large range of tools available, so everybody will be able to find something suitable. They come in different shapes and sizes, differ in price, and can be used for various purposes. That’s why, before making a purchase decision, conduct proper research, and based on that, choose the right tool for yourself.”

4. Forgetting about the seeds

Many weeds spread by producing tons of seeds, and those seeds often can survive in the soil for many years, just waiting for a little light and moisture to grow. 

The gardening pro said: “If you want your garden to be free of weeds, in the first place, you should not allow their seeds to germinate. Weeds reproduce by spreading seeds. After some time, the soil may contain thousands of seeds waiting for some sunlight, water, and nutrients. 

“That’s why when you weed the garden, try not to disturb the soil too much, so they can stay there without the access to these sources necessary for their development. It also applies to activities, such as digging or turning the soil. Another solution for preventing the seeds from germination is adding a layer of mulch to cut them off from the light for good.”

5. Using weed killers wrong

There are plenty of ways to kill weeds naturally. However, sometimes these methods may be insufficient, or you might not have enough time to use them.

Unfortunately, there are people that use them “incorrectly”, which can lead to “garden damage or even serious injuries”, according to the pro.

They advised: “To make sure these problems never occur, first of all, read the information on the packaging and use the product accordingly. What is more, wear proper clothing when you apply them in your garden. It includes gloves, goggles, long trousers, and sleeved shirts. 

“If you don’t want to spend money on these products, you can always make some DIY weed killers at home.”

6. Pulling out weeds incorrectly 

According to the gardening guru, there is a “special technique” when it comes to pulling out weeds. They warned: “If you do this incorrectly, you may snap the weed in two, leaving one half with the roots still in the ground.”

To be sure the entire weed is torn from the ground, keep a few things in mind. First, even though it can be more time-consuming, try to tear out one weed at a time. This approach will allow you to have better control over the weeds you pull. 

Secondly, try to cover as much of the weed area as possible while pulling by catching it as low as possible. Thanks to that, you increase the chances of getting all the roots out.

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