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The War On Weeds

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clay flower pot man illustrating a post on dealing with weeds in the gardenAsk any gardener and they will probably tell you that when it comes to fighting the war on weeds, you might win a few battles here and there, but weeds are a formidable foe.

The front will keep moving around the garden and you will never, ever win the war.

Most gardeners never stop trying though and neither do I.

There are various methods you can fight with.

There’s the conventional weed killer; applied by a watering can (use a fine rose to avoid waste) over small areas and various sprayers for the larger areas.

There are many commercial varieties but I don’t recommend them.

Apart from harming the environment – do you really want to say goodbye to bees?

The weeds seem to come back bigger and stronger and hell bent on revenge.

There are some organic varieties and most of them seem to work – for a while.

To be truly organic, products have to pass a number of criteria – the same for gardens.

It isn’t easy to be organic.

Personally, I cannot be around commercial weed killers or feeds as they make me sick – literally so I have to avoid all these products.

I like to do the best I can not to harm the environment when I garden but I make no other claims besides that

The larger areas of my garden were originally sprayed by a gardener I got in to help clear the front of the garden, but as soon as I learned about the harm these chemicals can do I decided there would be no more of them.

All the areas I have personally worked on, like the raised bed area below, have been treated only with organic weed killer and only round the fence behind the beds themselves.

raised bed in a garden illustrating a post on dealing with weeds in the gardenA WEEDER’S WORK IS NEVER DONE

I applied bark mulch around the plants in the sloped area around my patio and I hand pull the very many weeds that manage to push their way through the darkness of the mulch.

If I am in the right mood I can quite enjoy hand weeding but only if it hasn’t got too out of control.

Some weeds have to be taken more seriously though.

You can’t hand pull ragwort without gloves as this can be toxic.

USING VINEGAR AS A  WEED KILLER

One of my biggest disappointments so far has been vinegar. I have been reading quite a bit about vinegar and its many uses. Besides tasting great on chips it can clean windows, disinfect toilets, soften fabrics, and it apparently can kill weeds too.

On reading more about using vinegar as a weed killer I learned that it is best to use it only in areas where you are not going to grow anything.

Vinegar is acid and can change the PH balance of the soil so the best place to use it is on patios and paths etc.

I decided to use it on my brown gravel path as it was starting to look more green than brown.

I bought about 20 cheap bottles and applied it directly to the path using a watering can.

weed on gravel illustrating a post on dealing with weeds in the gardenNow, I have seen some wonderfully inspiring before and after vinegar pictures on websites showing boisterous weeds turning into meekly wilting remnants in a matter of hours.

Well, not in my garden. A couple of weeks later and nothing happened.

The weeds didn’t wilt, meekly or otherwise and they certainly didn’t die.

In fact they seemed to have gathered up some reinforcements.

There seem to be even more of them now than there were before, or perhaps that’s just my imagination?

I think I should say that I didn’t monitor the vinegar treated areas particularly well, nor did I record whether or not there was rainfall soon after application.

Maybe it was washed away in the rain.

So in the interests of being fair to vinegar and its glowing reputation I will give it one more try and as usual I will keep you posted.

Back soon

Grace

 

 

 

 

 

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