6 top tips for pain-free weeding

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It is the endless war waged by gardeners across the world – and after a hot, wet summer the weeds are winning, thriving as never before.

If you love your garden, but hate the back-breaking chose of constantly digging up invasive, out-of-control weeds, don’t panic. There are some simple steps you can take which will help make the job a little easier.

Don’t waste that pasta water!

Boiling water is one of the most effective weedkillers, so if you’ve cooked up some pasta don’t just chuck the water away – chuck it onto any weed patches and marvel at the results over the next few days as they shrivel and die. Minimum effort, maximum success and no harmful chemicals used. Remember though, boiling water will kill any plant it is poured on, so is better for paths than flower beds.

Off with their heads

Deadheading is easier than pulling up the weed by its roots and while it won’t kill it, it will stop it from spreading the seeds of a million more weeds all over your garden, giving you a bit more time to pluck up. All you’ll need is a good pair of secateurs, some sturdy gardening gloves and a bag for the weed heads – just be sure to dispose of the heads carefully to avoid shedding more seeds.

Don’t dig too deep

Weeds are everywhere, and that is because your soil is full of weed seeds. Only those in the top two inches will get enough light to germinate however, so whenever you are cultivating an area be careful not to dig too deep.

Mulch is your friend

A good layer of organic mulch can deprive weeds of light, stopping them in their tracks before they have a chance to grow. Try to replenish it as much as possible, keeping it about two inches thick and if you want to cut off sunlight to weeds completely cover the free areas of the flower bed with cardboard or newspaper then put mulch on top.

Timing is everything

Weeding does unfortunately require some effort, so don’t make it any harder by doing it when the ground is rock hard. The ideal time to weed is a day or so after a very hard rain - the soil is moist, and so the weeds have less grip.

Get a cushion

It’s a simple thing but probably the best advice to anyone about to embark on a weed war - invest in a solid cushion, available from most good garden and DIY stores, to protect your knees.

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