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Every green-thumbed enthusiast struggles with weeds at some point in their gardening career – but weeding doesn't need to be a challenge.
If you're wondering how to get rid of weeds and stop them from spreading, the secret is simple. According to Shannen Godwin, spokesperson for plants retailer J Parker (opens in new tab), you can achieve a weed-free space with the 'choking' method that will prevent weeds from growing between plants during the cool seasons. But what does this technique involve?
Here's what you need to know about the winter garden idea that will leave your plot in a healthy position come springtime.
What is the weed choking method?
Unlike many other weeding methods that involve harsh chemicals, the choking technique will maintain your garden naturally. The process involves preventing emerging weeds by leaving little to no space between your plants – so the intruders have less space to grow.
In the Express (opens in new tab), Shannen explains that this will 'shade the soil' – to slow down weed growth.
What if it's too late to choke your weeds?
If you have already grown your plants and they aren't packed together tightly enough to choke the weeds, fear not. You can get rid of your weeds naturally by depriving them of water.
If the climate works in your favor, this could reduce germination by at least a half, according to Shannen. 'Also, opt to enrich the soil with organic matter and good compost, as this isn't fertile territory for weeds to germinate.'
Horticultural Director at Dobbies (opens in new tab), Marcus Eyles, also recommends keeping your weeds in check by hoeing them before they get the chance to establish.
Another way to keep weeds further at bay in your flower beds involves applying a thick layer of mulch over the soil surface.
'Mulching with organic matter, such as garden compost, also locks in moisture and, over time, helps to improve your soil, whilst giving plants a well-needed boost,' Marcus says.
Because weeds need sunlight to survive, this mulch will prevent weed seeds from getting enough light to grow. You will only need around two inches of mulch to deter dandelions and similar weeds.
If you're too late to choke your weeds, mulching is a great alternative for a weed-free spring. The preparation begins now.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Gardeningetc, Livingetc, and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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