'Remove weeds now', gardening expert says – here's why

Think weeding is a spring job? Think again, says gardening expert

A wheelbarrow full of weeds
(Image credit: Jan Hakan Dahlstrom/ Getty)

If you've always thought about weeding as a spring job in the garden, you may wish to reconsider. In fact, right now is the perfect time to rid your garden of weeds, according to a garden expert.

You may be thinking about raking leaves as one of the more typical September gardening jobs, but weeding, it turns out, should definitely be a priority before you start preparing your garden for winter.  

Why you should do your weeding now

Woman removing weeds from garden bed

(Image credit: Grace Cary/ Getty)

Dayna Taylor, gardening expert from Charles & Ivy (opens in new tab), explains that thinking about how to get rid of weeds from your garden should be your 'first step' in preparations for winter. It is easy to forget all about weeds in autumn, since they're all going to die anyway. However, Dayna points out that gardeners are missing a trick by leaving weeds in the ground over winter. Her top tip is that 'removing invasive plants completely is the only way to prevent those plants from growing all over again and disrupting next year’s crop.' 

It may not be much fun to be scanning your garden borders or raised beds for weeds now, but by leaving in the roots of weeds you are giving them the chance to get stronger, absorbing post-summer nutrients, and coming back with a vengeance next spring.  

Garden fork and gloves on lawn

(Image credit: Jill Ferry/ Getty)

So, get pulling – it may be an old-fashioned method, but it's the one that works better than any other weed removing hack. Forget about pouring boiling water or vinegar over your weeds – only by removing and destroying the roots of weeds can you ensure you won't have an infestation next summer. 

Dayna points out that 'we all spend a lot of time, energy and money on our homes and gardens', so you can think of autumn weeding as a way 'to protect your investment.' 

It is much easier to do this job now, while the mornings are evenings are still relatively warm and light – 'winter gardening can be a daunting thought, particularly as the evenings draw in and the cold air bites.' It is also crucial to keep watering plants you do want to keep – it will help them grow stronger and disease-free for next year. Finally, don't forget about mulching – laying down a generous layer of mulch will help suppress any weeds you've missed. 

Anna Cottrell

Anna writes about real estate, interior design, and gardening. Her work has appeared in Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, and many other publications in the US and the UK. Before embarking on her writing career, Anna taught English at university level and is the author of a book called London Writing of the 1930s. She is an experienced outdoor and indoor gardener and has a passion for growing roses and Japanese maples in her outside space.