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You are going to find weeds in our beds and borders, our gravel drives and patios and our vegetable plots. Remembering that a weed is a plant just growing in the wrong place, they use light, food and moisture that were all meant to be for our cherished plants. When we ignore them, pests will also use them to feed and multiply. On gravel drives, they become unsightly and in lawns they mar the pleasing look of a green sward of grass setting off the plants surrounding it.
In our website pages about Fertilisers and Pesticides we spoke about the importance of the information on the back of the bottle or packet, this is the same with weedkillers. There is a great choice of products to help you control the weeds, including those suitable for use by organic gardeners who prefer more natural means, and the range is broken down into the specific use for different areas of the garden.
For example you may be looking for some help within the vegetable patch, this would be a great place to use one of the Organic Weedkillers. This is one of the groups of weed killers represented on our shelves. The small print on the back of the bottle reveals this to be a fatty acid, this we also know as soap. It works by breaking down the waxy surface of the leaf and in the process kills it. There is nothing however to stop regrowth from the root, so weeds such as dandelions with a tap root soon grow back. It is great for use on weed seedlings however, as there are no resources for the weed to regrow, and results are often seen overnight. Think of this product as a chemical hoe.
Gravel Areas are common source of concern. Any weedkiller could work on this problem but products such as Weedol Pathclear not only contain a weedkiller but also throw down a type of salt that prevents weeds from germinating for some weeks. Not all path weedkillers contain this extra product, so please choose carefully.
There is a group of weed killers that affects a plant hormone. This hormone does not appear in grasses but does appear in most other plants so grasses are unaffected. Because the hormone is disrupted growth becomes distorted and weeds appear to twist and curl before they die. These types of weedkiller are on our shelves as SBK Ground Clearance Weedkiller and of course in Lawn Weedkiller liquids and granules. Again they are best applied in warmer weather when weeds are actively growing.
For general ground clearance there are products that contain glyphosate. Roundup and Resolva weed killer are examples of these. They work by entering the plant through the foliage and travel down into the roots to totally kill all plants. Spraying the product on gives a better effect than using a watering can , for if the product rolls off the leaf and onto the ground it is wasted. All the products come in a ready to use sprayer as well as in a concentrated form which you dilute down yourself.
You must allow some three weeks for the product to work thoroughly. Even if the top growth is dead it may still be working its way down into the roots, so please be patient. Resolva has a second ingredient that turns foliage black very quickly after application, so you can see the effects much sooner. In all cases speed of effectiveness is greater in warm periods of the year, particularly with warm nights, where chemicals move faster within the plant.
Remember these products kill anything green they touch so be careful near plants that are valuable to you. Hozelock supply a sprayer with a guard for the nozzle which means you can spray weeds that are close to those you are trying to keep.
As ever, be careful how you use these products. Always read the label before application. Measure out the area you want to cover so you can make sure the product is applied at the right rate. All these products are thoroughly tested and work well when applied as described on the pack. Follow these instructions and you will be thoroughly satisfied .
If you prefer not to use any chemicals we can offer weed pullers to help you do it by hand or the weed-wand gas burner as an alternative.
Our team have also undertaken special training in the use of garden plant protection products safely. This complies with EU legislation called the ‘Sustainable Use Directive’ which is effective from 26th November 2015. So if you need any advice on which weedkillers to use, please ask a member of our team who will be delighted to pass on their expertise.