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How and when to weed ?

In principle, it is never too late to weed. However, certain times of the year are better, and allow you to save both time and work !

Removing weeds when small is a great advantage

Removing weeds when small is a great advantage

Keep in mind that if they are pulled out when still small they will not be there later on; also, it is easier to pull out small weeds than tackle nettles that are now 2m high because they were not dealt with earlier! When weeds are small, it is usually a quick task to get rid of them. As soon as they appear and the weather is warm (it always gets warm when you have sown nothing) hoe them over to a depth of about 1cm. It is amazing what you will have just destroyed. Later when the weeds are beginning to grow it will be easier to pull them out because they are small and do not have deep roots. Wait a bit longer and the weeds will have formed deeper roots that need to be removed, this will mean you need to work much harder whilst at the beginning a hoeing over would have been enough !

The moral of the story is: the sooner you weed the better it is. It is for this reason that weeding in the spring (when the new growth occurs) is very useful. Likewise, a tidy up in the autumn or winter during a mild spell is also very effective against weeds that have managed to install themselves in the colder weather. In both these periods, the young plants are removed easily because the soil is loose and damp.

How and when to weed ?

No seeds !

If you wait for the growing season, not only is it more difficult because the weeds are settled in, but the soil is also harder (drier) and there is the risk that the weeds will run to seed…. and it will start all over again ! If you do not have time to weed properly at least cut the stems of those weeds that risk producing seeds: nettles, dock, thistles and dandelions... are the worse

There is weeding...and weeding

Fighting against weeds means killing them! It is no good just cutting them down to the soil level: all the plant including its roots must be removed; otherwise, it will start to grow again. Some of these undesirables such as black nightshade, dandelions or thistles tend to grow thicker roots the more that they are cut… making it harder to remove them in the future. As you will see, there are several methods of weeding. The most widespread method of weeding is to use a tool to remove the plant from the ground. Do not throw away everything, shake off the soil around the roots and replace it in the ground, otherwise you will be left with a hole, only get rid of the plant.

How often you need to weed depends on the type of weed: once or twice a year is sufficient around the base of a young hedge. In the vegetable patch or around other plants grown in pots it will need to be more frequent.

M. Jean-Michel GROULT
Pépinières PLANFOR
RD 651
Tel : (020).7660.0178
Fax : 0033 558 064 854