GARDENING WITH DEBBI
IF there is one task we spend more time on in the garden, it’s the battle against weeds.
Weeds are a year round problem, and if let go, they can multiply and quickly take over an area.
While most plants are dormant during winter, some persistent weeds are starting to make an appearance, such as capeweed, sticky weed and Paterson’s curse. Now is the time to tackle them. Capeweed, sometimes referred to as daisies, is an annual flat weed with yellow flowers.
It grows quickly reaching the size of dinner plates when mature.
They seed readily, so need to be controlled while still small.
Dig out individual plants or spot spray with glyphosate.
Sticky weed, also known as Cleavers, is an annual creeping weed which is covered in tiny sticky hairs which stick to virtually everything.
They grow along the ground and over and through other garden plants.
It has tiny, star-shaped, white flowers, which emerge from early spring to summer.
It seeds prolifically with one square metre of the plant producing about 250,000 seeds.
Spray with glyphosate or remove by hand while small.
Paterson’s curse, nicknamed patto, features beautiful purple and pink flowers.
It produces many seeds which lay dormant in the soil ready to germinate next winter.
Hand remove or spot spray with glyphosate while still in the flat rosette stage.
Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide.
It will kill everything it touches, including desired plants so apply carefully.
If a wanted plant is accidently sprayed, wash off with a full watering can of water.
Another way to control weeds is to use a selective weed killer.
These control broad leaf weeds and bindii without harming lawn grasses. Don’t leave soil bare. Once the weeds have been removed, replace them with plants that will prevent the weeds growing back.
Groundcovers block the light and prevent weed seeds from germinating. Mulching also suppresses weeds. Cover the soil with thick newspaper after weeding, wet it and cover with a thick layer of mulch to smother out weeds.
Controlling weeds as soon as they appear is the best way to beat weeds.