GET OUT YOUR HOE & GET RID OF WEEDS

The Napier Mail - - YOUR HEALTH -

Photo cap­tion: A car­pet of freshly ger­mi­nated creep­ing speed­well

Au­tumn brings rain, cooler nights, colour­ful leaves... and weeds! Noth­ing makes weeds grow faster than reg­u­lar rain­fall and it doesn’t help mat­ters that, at this point in the grow­ing sea­son, you’re gen­er­ally pulling crops out rather than putting them in, leav­ing lovely va­can­cies for weedy va­grants to act like squat­ters.

If your sum­mer crops of toma­toes, cour­gettes, pump­kins and pota­toes have been dug and de­voured, don’t just leave the beds sit­ting empty. If you aren’t plan­ning on im­me­di­ately re­plant­ing, sow cover crops (also known as green manure crops) of nitro­gen-fix­ing broad beans, oats or blue lupin, or lay mulch to stop weed seeds ger­mi­nat­ing. You don’t have to buy bagged mulch – you can lay down news­pa­pers or card­board and dump grass clip­pings on top.

In my gar­den, one of the worst (and most an­noy­ing) weeds is creep­ing speed­well, which seeds thickly and grows into a mul­ti­rooted mat. So my main task this week­end will be tak­ing a push hoe to the green stub­ble of tiny seedlings spread­ing like a car­pet over my vege patch. They come out eas­ily when still small.

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