The definition of a weed ‘is a plant where you do not want it to grow’.
There are many ways of killing weeds, the most traditional way is the Dutch hoe. The hoe cuts the weeds off at ground level, unfortunately this does not work on nettles and dockings which will easily grow again and can be hard work.
Landscape bark (course) or decorative bark (finer) can be used as a mulch on top of the soil approximately 8-10cm deep. Again this will suppress weeds but not deep rooted perennial weeds (dandelions and nettles).
For more complete weed control use weed control fabric directly on top of the soil and cover with bark. The fabric allows air and water to pass through for the plants, but keeps the weeds down this should give good weed control.
As an alternative to bark, ornamental pebbles can be used. In exposed areas pebbles can prove to be better as the bark may blow away. There are also many chemicals which can be used for weed control, for use in different parts of the garden and tackling different weeds.
There are chemicals which can be bought to kill weeds in the lawn, but not the grass; Westland Resolva Lawn Weed Killer or
Vitax Lawn Clear.
Chemicals for use around the garden where there are shrubs should be used very carefully. Round Up or Westland Resolva 24H can be used in a specific watering can (red can is best for weeds) using a fine rose on the end of the can keeping the can very low to the weeds on a dry, calm and dull day. These products are absorbed through the leaf system eventually killing the weed and do not damage the soil in any way.
Children, pets and wildlife need not be excluded from the treated area. Do not get these chemicals onto your plants as it could potentially damage them. Where you have a paved area or decking or the driveway a different weed killer can be used. These leave behind a residue in the soil for up to six months; Pathclear or Bayer Path & Drive Weed killer. But they must not be used on the garden.
Areas which are completely overgrown and you want to kill everything; Round Up Concentrate or SBK for tough weeds or Resolva Extra Tough.
For more information on chemicals for weed control contact Inver Garden Centre.