GET OUT YOUR HOE & GET RID OF WEEDS
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.