A War on Weeds
Gardening is so exciting, isn’t it? Equipped with all this knowledge, it’s time to have a peaceful, but victorious war against the weeds! After all, Life is a Garden, so let’s escape and have some fun.
- Surprise element: Firstly, always act immediately. There is an old saying that goes “one year’s seeds, seven years weeds”. This little expression is talking about when a weed is able to scatter its seed, you will probably have weed seeds germinating in that area for the next seven years. If you are unable to remove it immediately, make sure that any flowers or seed pouches are removed since you don’t want the seed to be dispersed before you treat it.
- Surveillance: You now need to identify the weed. Identifying the weed will almost certainly assist you in finding the correct treatment to eliminate the weed. You can ask for advice at your local GCA Garden Centre. If you can’t identify the weed, determine whether it has grass-like leaves or if is a broad-leaf plant.
- Attack: Applying the correct treatment should be the easiest part of the solution… right? Well, this is often where many gardeners don’t read the instruction booklet carefully and often make the common mistake of doubling or tripling up on the suggested dosage. This can cause especially hormonally based weed killers to be ineffective, and others may burn surrounding plants and damage the environment. Millions of Rand are spent on trials and tests on these weed killers as well as environmental impact studies, which can take up to five years before the products are registered. Therefore, follow dosage rates and instructions
- Further attacks: Inspect treated weeds and where necessary, re-apply the treatment if the weed is not looking grey, wilted or shrivelled two weeks after application.
- Mission accomplished - regroup and celebrate: The weed war is over, and you are the winner!
Extra tips when using herbicides (chemical weed killers):
- We hope that you have first tried other alternative and/or organic control solutions possible, dear gardeners.
- Read and adhere to all safety instructions. Keep away from children and pets.
- Lawns often need to be actively growing otherwise they may be damaged by some of the stronger herbicides. Apply in the growing season and try to boost the lawn and weed with fertilizer two weeks before your herbicide application. The weed will not absorb the herbicide if it is struggling to grow and the lawn will recover more quickly when growing actively.
- If you have a broad-leafed plant lawn like daisy lawn or wonder lawn, rather than a traditional grass lawn, be sure to mention this when asking for advice on weed killers.
- In garden beds, you may have to paint the chemical onto certain weeds for the plants around it not to be affected.
- When applying non-selective herbicides, especially on paving, be careful that there is no run-off into the beds because this type of herbicide will kill any other plants. In the same way, do not spray on a windy day where spray may drift and harm other plants, animals, children, and insects.
- Spray early in the day and not in the midday heat. In the heat of the day, the herbicide can evaporate and or may burn the lawn.
- As a responsible gardener, make sure that you apply the chemical treatments correctly without being wasteful or negligent to prevent damage to the environment.