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Weed Control Frances Michaels

Much as we may hate them, weeds have an ecological role to play in reclaiming degraded soils and re-establishing damaged soil structure. Weeds are always present but only become a nuisance when conditions allow them to become invasive.

Suggested Organic Strategies
  • Try to avoid ever letting a weed go to seed. If you don't have time to pull it, at least remove the flowering heads before seed is set.
  • Try to do more mulching and less weeding. Always keep on hand a mulch supply.
  • Weeds are a useful addition to compost heaps because of the diverse range of nutrients they contain but only add them before the seed is ripe.
  • Green manures can be used to smother persistent weeds, such as couch grass. Good choices for weed suppression include lablab, cowpea, lucerne and buckwheat.
  • When weeding or starting a new garden area always try to start from an existing weed-free edge such as a pathway and work out from there.
  • Large areas can be dealt with effectively by 'sheet mulching'. This gets rid of grass and weeds without back strain. Start with a generous distribution of organic fertiliser. Then simply use wet newspaper (about 10 sheets thick) as your biodegradable weed mat. Soak the newspaper first; wetting it after placing it on the ground doesn't work. Then top off with mulch, to cover the paper well. Over 8-12 weeks the grass will decompose and you will have a weed-free garden area ready to plant.
  • Consider using poultry in a moveable cage on a small area to clear weeds, move onto fresh ground as soon as the surface is bare and mulch the cleared area.
Golden Rule: avoid leaving the ground bare.

Growing a 'Living Mulch' will help control weeds!

Suggested Products:
Slasher Weed killer is a non-selective herbicide.

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