21st March 2020

Garden Notes – April Showers

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Let us hope we do not get too many showers in April. Just enough to get new sowings to emerge. Of course that means the weeds as well.

I have been looking at the options for getting rid of these weeds. If everything is dry you can hoe and leave them on the surface to die. Or you can use a weed killer. We used to be able to get simple Weedol, which just killed the leaves and was ideal for annual weeds. But now glyphosate is ubiquitous. You can get it in formulations to provide an instant effect. It kills plants right down to their roots and degrades once it hits the soil. So you can plant soon afterwards. There is a new kid on the block to join Roundup, called Job Done. It is difficult to compare them as they produce their chemical list in different ways. Even Roundup has different formulations. One thing that effects its use is the amount of surfactant (soapy stuff) they add. This means the weedkiller can cling to the leaves better. Find one that works for you. When it comes to paths and gravel they both claim to act as weed killers but they have no long term effect. What you need is one containing a preemergent agent as well as the glyphosate, such as Weedol Pathclear. This claims to give you a season clear of weeds, but remember a season is only three months long. I find it useful to hit the weeds early with Roundup and then sometime in April use the Weedol Pathclear. This prolongs the weedfree time and means you can avoid spraying overhanging plants. In late summer when you cut back the geraniums and catmint I come along and treat the odd weed then with Roundup.

I am sure that you will look at other ways of killing weeds. I tried a gas torch, but did not like the charred remains that hung around and it does not kill the roots of dandelions. You could try vinegar but not salt as it will make it difficult to grow other things there.

Cost comes into it, hoeing is free and good exercise.

Stella Strachan

[Please note that this message is not posted on behalf of Bentworth Parish Council and does not necessarily reflect the Parish Council’s policy]

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