The hobby gardener’s scourge comes in the form of weeds. Names such as dandelion, goutweed, clover or speedwell make every garden lover shiver. They stubbornly spread in beds and paths, overgrow ornamental and crop plants while robbing them of water and nutrients. Even the most liberal plant lover must not let wild herbs get away with this if they want to preserve their green realm. Nonetheless, no one wants to reach for the chemical club anymore. So the question arises as to how weeds should be properly weeded in order to at least keep them under control. The following tips show helpful alternatives to UnkrautEx & Co.
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Nip the evil in the bud
The most effective way to control weeds is to not let them grow in the first place. While UnkrautEx & Co. are only used when the unwanted wild herbs sprout, weed film stops the evil at the earliest stage. The ingenious effect of weed fleece is based on a material that is permeable to water and air on the one hand and does not let sunlight through on the other. Photosynthesis, which is vital for weeds, does not take place. On the other hand, water and nutrients for the supply of ornamental and useful plants penetrate very well. At the same time, weed film keeps the soil moist and warm for longer, which is beneficial for the growth of flowers and vegetables. Laid in good time, laborious weeding is reduced to a minimum.
Although weed fleece is extremely tear-resistant, it can be easily cut into shape, so that no special prior knowledge is required to lay it. Here’s how to do it:
- Thoroughly clean the area of weeds, stones and roots
- Loosen the soil with a rake and then smooth it with the rake
- Spread out the weed fleece and trim with scissors or a knife
- Drive the plastic anchors into the ground and attach the foil to them
Wherever plants will be planted, use a utility knife to cut an X into the weed wrap. Here you dig a planting hole and insert the plant. Then drape the cut corners around the stem of the plant. The more closely you succeed, the fewer weeds will show up. It is up to you which materials you use to cover the weed film. Potting soil is just as suitable as ornamental gravel, chippings or bark mulch.
The best implements for the right weeding
They are long gone, the days of tedious weeding with a bent back or scooting on your knees. Modern hobby gardeners use innovative tools.
Weed digger Pulling
out weeds by hand only works sporadically. Root weeds in particular are not impressed by this and happily continue to sprout even from the smallest remains in the soil. With a weed puller, you can tackle the weeds sooner, without having to bend down. The device has stainless steel blades, a pedal, a long handle and an ergonomic handle. The blades penetrate deep into the soil next to the weed roots. After loosening the soil a little with gentle shaking, lift out the weeds.
If the weeds are already thickly lined up, weeding takes a lot of time. For such cases, the knowledgeable hobby gardener always has a sow tooth at hand. Weighing 200 grams and 8 mm thick, the claw can be easily pulled through the bed soil while pulling out wild herbs. Thanks to the one tine, the sow tooth is an indispensable tool for weeding between the narrow rows of plants in the kitchen garden.
This device uses the Tenacity strategy. A double-edged, hardened steel blade oscillates back and forth, pulling and cutting weeds out of the ground. Although the roots remain in the ground, they will die off in the long run if the above-ground parts of the plant are permanently moved away.
Joint brush The joint brush is used
where even the narrow sow’s tooth is too thick to weed the weeds. The sturdy steel bristles quickly remove any moss, clover and grass between terrace slabs or the paving stones of the sidewalk.
Tips for the efficient use of mechanical devices
Manual and mechanical alternatives to UnkrautEx & Co. are still associated with a certain amount of physical effort. So there should be great interest in limiting the effort to a tolerable extent and then having peace from the intrusive green stuff for as long as possible. The following tips would like to contribute to this:
- Pulling weeds is easier after a downpour
- In case of dryness, moisten the surface beforehand with the watering can
- Never let seed weeds flower
- Always lift root weeds out of the ground and don’t just tear them out
Where using weed wrap is not practical or possible, you should at least mulch the soil. Suitable materials are bark mulch, leaves, grass clippings, wood chips, straw or pine needles.
Thermal weed removal
Instead of weeding with mechanical assistance, more and more leisure gardeners are opting for thermal weed control. All devices in this category are based on the uniform principle of heat. This is produced by gas, thermal radiation or boiling water. With minimal effort, you can remove weeds without any chemicals using the following devices:
- Flame retardant device
- high pressure cleaner
The bargain hunters among the leisure gardeners convert their kettle into an effective device for thermal weed killing. Armed with an extension cord, garden hose and instant kettle, pour boiling water over all the wild herbs. These breathe their life out in seconds because their tissue cells tear.
Weeds and their alternative control
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)
Wherever this stubborn weed settles, it causes the gardener a headache because of the roots that reach up to 2 meters deep. It would still be premature to resort to UnkrautEx, because with the right strategy you can get rid of the weed again. If at all possible, let the soil dry out and spread lime regularly. At the same time, you dig deep into every part of the plant that you can get your hands on. If possible, cut off the field horsetail from sunlight with weed foil, photosynthesis comes to a standstill and the weeds die.
Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)
Locating them requires immediate action. Field bindweed cannot be gotten rid of simply by weeding . A single plant is excavated over a wide area. If she has already developed her underground root system, pull as much of it out of the ground as possible, cover the area with fresh soil and spread a black sheet over it. This is the only way to ensure that the remains of the roots die off.
Bear’s Claw (Heracleum)
The invasive poisonous plant has the unpleasant property of burning the skin when touched. After such a painful experience, there is of course a great temptation to use UnkrautEx or a comparable remedy against all good intentions. Fortunately, there are alternatives. Bärenklau should be dug up and disposed of before flowering. Don’t wait to see if the old plant dies after flowering, by which time it has already spread up to 50,000 seeds in your garden. Only go to work in overcast weather and wrapped in protective clothing. Ideally, you should burn the remains of the plants or put them in the household waste. Bärenklau has no place on the compost.
Common prunella (Prunella vulgaris)
The wild flower with the violet flowers often impairs the appearance of weeds in the lawn. As long as it occurs sporadically, it is lifted out of the turf with the weed cutter. Increased occurrence prevents early scarifying of the lawn with subsequent fertilization. The grasses are revitalized and suppress the brownella on their own .
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)
Although stinging nettles have made a name for themselves in the organic cultivation of ornamental and kitchen gardens, they are not welcome everywhere because of the stinging hairs. It is not difficult to stop them as they are shallow-rooted. They are easy to weed with the weed rake, especially when the soil is damp. Don’t forget to cover your skin to prevent burns.
Ivy-leaf speedwell (Veronica hederifolia)
The light blue flowering weed spreads in abundance in the garden from April; exceptionally, it can easily be removed by simply weeding. If possible, it should not flower, because the intensive sowing is essentially responsible for the large-scale expansion.
Giersch (Aegopodium podagraria)
With its far-reaching rhizomes, Giersch strives to conquer the entire garden. Troubled hobby gardeners can only defend themselves with plenty of perseverance. Those who stubbornly stay on Giersch ‘s heels with the weed cutter will ultimately emerge victorious from the battle. You will reach your goal a little faster if you empty the infested bed and cover it with black foil for 1 year.
Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris)
This dreaded weed is also highly poisonous. The golden-yellow flowers from June look similar to daisies, which increases the explosiveness even more. Immediately after a rain shower, cut out the ragwort and put it in a plastic bag with the household waste. Ideally, this should be done in May at the latest, in good time before flowering. You should definitely not do without protective gloves for this activity. This alternative to UnkrautEx or similar preparations is also advisable because ragwort is a popular insect pasture despite its poisonous content.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Also known as dandelion, this plant is a sly old dog. Thanks to their flying seeds, dandelions are able to settle anywhere in the garden and cling to the ground with their taproots. Therefore, remove every yellow flower, no matter how small, the first time you see it. Then remove the rest of the plant with the weeder. By the way, salt and vinegar are taboo as so-called home remedies. The current plant protection law of 2012 prohibits the use in beds, on paths and all sealed surfaces for understandable reasons.
Couchgrass (Elymus repens)
Instead of attacking couchgrass with UnkrautEx or another chemical club, the Weeder can already put an end to the spitting. Provided you discover the culprit in the garden in good time, ideally when sprouting begins in spring. If couch grass is spreading in the lawn, keep the weeds under control by mowing regularly.
If you know how to weed properly, you can confidently do without chemical bombs such as UnkrautEx and Co. So walking through the garden after a downpour is recommended. Now weeding is very easy. Physical exertion can now be reduced to a minimum thanks to mechanical equipment. Weed control is even easier with thermal devices such as infrared heaters, flame burners, high-pressure cleaners or kettles. When confronted with the worst culprits, such as groundweed, horsetail or ragwort, there are still effective alternatives to chemical preparations. Weed foil, for example, made of an innovative material, enables troubled hobby gardeners to get rid of even the most stubborn weeds.