When your garden grows, the weeds grow with it, and while most weeds don’t actually harm a garden, they do steal space, water and nutrients that would otherwise go to your fruits, flowers and veggies.
Understandably, you want to get rid of them, and while weed killer is a quick and easy option, deep-down you know that pulling the weeds out by hand is better both for you and the environment.
Even though lately, it feels as if it will never rain again, the time to hand-pull weeds is after a decent downpour (should we get one) as water loosens the soil, making it easier to get the entire weed in one pull – and you get the satisfaction of seeing the progress taking place in front of you.
Also, if you cut long-rooted weeds regularly, at soil level, the root is starved of the chlorophyll it needs and doesn’t disturb any weed seeds in the soil. When you’ve de-weeded an area, you can mulch it with a leaf compost, bark or other organic material. This retains crucial moisture in the soil and prevents any errant weed seeds from growing.
Rabbits, cute as they are, can be a real garden pest in the summer. From green beans to lettuce, they can’t resist your carefully tended produce. However, they do love clover so if you’ve got a bit more in your lawn than you’d like, before you pull it out, remember that it may distract unwanted visitors from your more precious plants. Likewise, enclosing your crop in chicken wire can help – make sure you push it into the soil because rabbits are master burrowers. However, spare a thought for little animals and birds getting caught before you put loose netting over your precious wares.
Natural plant deterrents
Some tactical herb planting may be another way to make your garden less attractive to intruders. Oils in many Mediterranean herbs such as lavender, rosemary and mint are too strong for some visitors – despite being delicious for us. Try growing a mint border – it may just do the job.
So, before you hit the weed-killer, why not try to work hand -in-hand with nature to keep pests at bay?