How to Prevent Weeds in the Garden
Roses are red,
Violets are blue;
But they don’t get around
Like the dandelions do.
Weeds are the bane of many gardener’s lives and neglecting your garden can quite quickly result in it being overrun with fast-growing, uncontrollable weeds.
With our increasingly busy lifestyles, the vast majority of us want a garden that involves as little maintenance as possible.
Most of all, the last thing we want to be doing with our precious spare time is to be out in the garden weeding.
So, what can be done to reduce weed growth in the garden?
Well, fortunately, you have plenty of options when it comes to controlling weeds.
Of course, some take more work than others, but often the payoff is far less time spent weeding and more spent out in the garden relaxing. Which, of course, is the end goal here.
In this article we’re exploring some of the methods and techniques that you can use to prevent weed growth in your garden.
Some of these ideas will not only achieve this, but also help to make your garden more visually appealing, a win-win situation.
A well-maintained, attractive garden can add another room to your house and you’ll want to spend every minute of those warm summer days outside in the sunshine.
With the help of this article, we are sure you can get your garden up to scratch while dramatically reducing the number of weeds that appear in it.
Cover Plant Beds in Mulch
Using bark mulch has many benefits.
Not only does it look attractive, but its main advantage is in its weed-preventing properties.
Bark mulch helps to prevent weed growth by blocking out essential sunlight that weeds need in order to grow.
You should aim to apply a layer of around 2 inches of bark mulch. Any more than this and you could potentially starve the earth below of oxygen, which will be needed to grow the plants you do want to grow.
You may find that every now and then, maybe once a year, you’ll need to top up the bark mulch, but that’s much better than having to continuously remove weeds throughout a large part of the year.
Bark mulch is also great at retaining moisture in your beds as it helps to slow evaporation, so you can save time on watering, too.
It can also help regulate the temperature of your soil, keeping it cool during the summer by blocking the sun and insulating it during the winter to prevent the roots of your plants being damaged by ice and frost.
Use Decorative Aggregates to Cover Beds
In much the same vein as using bark mulch, you could even consider using slate, pebbles or any other form of decorative aggregate to create low-maintenance plant beds.
Not only will this improve the aesthetics of your garden, but it will also help to suppress weeds.
The key to preventing weed growth is to ensure that, prior to spreading your aggregates, you install a good quality weed membrane.
You should always overlap sections of the membrane to remove any chance of weeds growing between them. You may find it easier to use pins to secure the membrane in place.
The aggregate, working in conjunction with the weed membrane, will help prevent weed growth in your plant beds, making them far easier to maintain.
Use Weed-Free Jointing Sand on Block Paving
If you have any block paving in your garden, you’ll know that it can be a breeding ground for weeds and moss.
This is mainly due to the kiln-dried sand that is brushed into the joints between the blocks. The sand creates an ideal environment for weeds to grow.
You probably find yourself pulling out weeds every time you walk on your paving which, of course, is a frustrating experience, to say the least.
However, there are now products available, such as the weed-free jointing sand produced by Dansand, that help to suppress weed growth.
They do this by creating desert-like conditions. The nutrient-poor minerals found within this kiln-dried sand help to prevent weeds from growing.
The added benefits of this, of course, are that it is better for the environment and safer for your family and your pets, as it doesn’t involve using any form of potentially harmful weedkiller.
Of course, it’s not just patios and paths that you can use this type of product on, but your driveway, too.
Apply Sealant to Paving
Another way to help prevent weed growth, on both paving slabs and block paving, is to apply a sealant, such as one of the products from Resiblock.
Sealing the joints of your paving means that there is nowhere for the weeds to grow.
Sealing your paving can be a relatively inexpensive process and it’s a quite straightforward task that you can carry out yourself.
Sealants can also be used to enhance the colour of your paving and can even give it a permanent wet or matt look.
However, to avoid disappointment, it’s highly recommended that you always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying a sealant.
It’s also a good idea to test products on a spare slab or block, or alternatively on an inconspicuous part of your paving, before going ahead and sealing the entire area.
Some sealants can take on a quite different appearance once they’ve properly dried.
Swap Real Grass for Fake Grass
No matter how much you try, you may find that you are fighting a losing battle when it comes to removing weeds from your lawn.
If, like many other people, you’ve finally had enough of the struggle to maintain your lawn, rest assured there is an alternative.
Rather than continuing to fight with your lawn, why not replace it with fake grass?
What was once considered a taboo amongst gardeners is fast becoming a popular alternative to the real thing, as many people are discovering that the quality of artificial grass is now so good that it’s difficult to tell the difference between real and fake.
But it’s not just aesthetic reasons that have made artificial grass so popular.
It’s also a great way to help prevent weeds in your garden. Because there isn’t any soil under artificial grass, as long as you install a double layer of weed membrane, as we recommend, you won’t get any weeds growing through the artificial grass.
As well as having a low-maintenance and attractive garden lawn, there’s a whole host of other benefits that you’ll enjoy with a fake lawn, too.
It’s brilliant for children and pets, as they can run up and down on it all day long without getting covered in mud and making a mess of your lawn.
It’s also strong enough to withstand a wide range of uses and won’t fade or be discoloured by dog urine.
It will save you hours of work, as not only will you not have to weed it any more but, of course, it will never need mowing, either!
With the many and varied benefits of fake grass, it’s little wonder that it’s become so popular.
Real grass demands hours of essential maintenance to keep it looking pristine, and many people now consider that it just isn’t worth the huge amount of time it takes when artificial grass looks just as good.
Keep Gaps Between Plants & Shrubs Small
You can help to choke weed growth by ensuring that you plant your plants and shrubs close enough together that they choke out any potential weeds, by blocking the sunlight and denying them the room they need to grow.
Generally, you can reduce the recommended spacing between your plants by about 25%, as these recommendations allow for your plants to not touch anything else once full maturity has been reached.
Don’t Disturb Dormant Weeds
Virtually all plant beds contain the seeds of various weeds.
The key to preventing these seeds from germinating is to avoid digging over your plant beds.
By cultivating your beds, you may be bringing hidden seeds to the surface of the soil.
To prevent this from happening, only dig when it is absolutely necessary and cover the area with mulch or weed membrane immediately after digging, to suppress weed growth.
Now that you are armed with a better understanding of weed prevention, hopefully you’ll be inspired to tackle those weeds once and for all.
With these ideas and strategies, you’ll find yourself saving many hours of back-breaking work weeding the garden and having more time to spend relaxing in it.
For further ideas on creating a low-maintenance garden, why not read our article, ‘8 Ways to Create a Low-Maintenance Garden’.
And if you have been inspired to have artificial grass installed at your property, well, you have come to the right place!
If you wish to discuss your project with a local installer, then why not find your nearest NeoGrass approved installer?
If you have any other ideas to prevent weeds that you think deserve a mention, then leave us a comment below!